Those who enjoy each winter’s Fat Saturday Pub Crawl now have another reason to celebrate: Organizers have added a second pub crawl to their yearly schedule and it’s coming up this Friday.
“We usually do the one in February, Fat Saturday, and, altogether, it’s probably the fifth one we’ve done and we’ve gotten bigger every year. The last one we had 1200 people, so we’re growing,” said pub crawl organizer Christy Beckham of AB Beverage. “The people downtown always want us to do another because we get a good turnout and it’s a really good crowd, so there’s kind of always been a demand for a second one but we’ve never really had a reason to do it.”
A reason for the second pub crawl, called A Nightmare on Broad Street, presented itself recently when Tanner Savage, the almost 3-year-old son of an AB Beverage employee, was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor on his kidney during the summer. Since the discovery in July, Tanner has had his entire right kidney removed, went through six days of radiation and will undergo chemotherapy once a week for six months.
“He is the cutest little boy and what we’re doing is raising money to help offset some of the costs of his medical bills,” Beckham explained. “So that’s why we’re doing it in the fall, doing it now, because we thought it would be a good time.”
Just as the proceeds of Fat Saturday go to the Greater Augusta Arts Council, 100 percent of the money made from A Nightmare on Broad Street will go to Team Tanner. The fact that they’re holding it on a popular holiday and providing a great incentive to participate is just icing on the cake.
“Halloween’s a good time, and we’re having, of course, the costume contest and the winner will be on the cover of the Spirit,” Beckham said. “I have gotten a bajillion messages on Facebook about how many people can do it and how many people can be in groups for the contest, so I think that is going to set it off.”
“I’ve asked all the stops to decorate for Halloween or do something for Halloween because, really, there’s not been anything Halloweenish going on in downtown Augusta for a long time. It’s not Halloween night, you don’t have to worry about taking your kids trick or treating and then going out, and that was kind of the point of doing it the week before.”
There will be 15 stops on this Friday’s pub crawl, including Sky City, Soul Bar, Bar on Broad, the Loft, Firehouse, Stillwater Taproom, the Playground, Joe’s Underground, Metro Coffeehouse & Pub, 1102, Soy Noodle House, Blue Sky Kitchen, the Boar’s Head, Whiskey Bar (Kitchen) and Farmhaus Burgers.
Headquarters for the event will be a tent on 11th and Broad Streets, where participants will pay the registration fee and receive their passport. At the Fat Saturday Pub Crawl, participants would also receive a free T-shirt but, since this pub crawl includes a costume contest, organizers decided to give crawlers something a little different: a light-up beer mug in the shape of a skull. A limited number of T-shirts will be available for $20.
Once registered, participants are on their own when it comes to visiting each of the stops. Pub crawl volunteers will be at each stop to stamp passports.
“They can start at any stop they want to and finish at any stop they want to. And we’ll have our volunteers and registration boxes at every stop, so if it’s their last stop, they can go ahead and drop the passport there. They don’t have to take it back anywhere.”
Organizers will pull passports at random and give away prizes.
“You drop your passport in a registration box and then we give prizes,” she said. “We pull prizes the next week and it’s usually Shock Top prizes and sometimes it’s tickets to events.”
While there will be no free alcohol at any of the stops, most of the participating venues will be offering drink specials. Participants, however, are under no obligation to buy.
“You have no obligation to buy anything and no obligation to drink,” Beckham assured.
No matter how participants choose to celebrate the event, Beckham says it’s a new way to have fun with friends and maybe discover something different.
“It’s a great way to get a group of people together to go do something fun. You get to dress up for Halloween, you can win prizes,” she said. “It’s just a different way to discover Augusta. I’ve gone and stamped passports for a little while and people will come in and say, ‘I didn’t even know this place was here.’ I’ve heard that a million times.”
“It’s a lot of fun and we have a ton of people come from Fort Gordon. It’s young, old, black, white, green… it doesn’t matter,” Beckham continued. “It’s a very diverse group and they’re always there to have a great time. And to have that many people downtown and not have any trouble? It’s been really positive.”
And patrons have no need to fear: Beckham said Fat Saturday will be back this winter.
“The one in February is probably a staple now and we want to continue doing that every year because it’s just growing and growing and growing,” Beckham said. “We would like for the one in the fall to turn into a regular one as well. It just depends on how it goes.”
If the last pub crawl is any indication, when patrons lined up an hour before registration started, it should go well, especially since the proceeds go to a good cause.
“It really is a fun thing to do and it really promotes our downtown environment without any negative, ulterior motives,” she said. “It all goes to charity, so it’s a good reason to have a good time.”
A Nightmare on Broad Street Pub Crawl
HQ: 11th and Broad streets
Friday, October 25
Registration: 6 p.m.; crawl, 8 p.m.
$10 entry; $5, unlimited trolley rides