Crawlers cool down with cold beer


Pub Crawl saw a slower-than-usual start as more crawlers spent time outside in the sunshine playing yard games and drinking before heading downtown.

Kyle Harris, a senior business economics major, was one crawler who decided the weather was too nice to go downtown early and opted to stay outside with friends first.

“We were cooped up all winter and this was the first really nice party weekend we’ve had so we had to take advantage of it,” he said.

But that didn’t mean the bars watched the annual event fall by the wayside — crawlers were still bustling downtown by the afternoon. Sully’s Irish Pub Manager Chad Smidt said he thought the slower start accounted for more people hanging out into the early-morning hours.

“We had a steady stream of people pretty much all afternoon and at one point had close to 130 people playing beer pong and having a good time,” Smidt said. “When it was all said and done, the day actually seemed to last longer because people were willing to stay out because they didn’t start so early.”

A slower start didn’t keep downtown bars from seeing green, and hoards of people dressed in their Irish-themed apparel flooded the sidewalks in the afternoon and into the early morning.

With drinking and socializing comes hungry stomachs, which left many crawlers on the hunt for one thing: food. A few pizza places jumped in on the action to help keep stomachs full of something other than alcohol. George’s Pizza, located near Cubby’s, The 9 and Skinner’s served around 300 pizzas, or 2,400 slices from 11 a.m. on Saturday until the bars closed down at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. George’s Pizza Manager Makayla Herman said the local restaurant had a good day, even though this year was more tame than usual.

“People were less rowdy and there were not as many fights and drama. Most people were having fun playing yard games with the nice weather so it was calmer than it normally is,” she said. “But it was not a bad year (revenue-wise) for us, either, by any means.”

Once he finally made an appearance downtown, Harris described the scene as “wild,” but his memory is a little foggy.

“You think I remember downtown?” he said, joking. “The stuff I remember was good but I don’t remember much of it.”

Although crawlers like Harris might have relied on Facebook photos and wall posts to help fill in the blanks of their Pub Crawl experiences, the Brookings Police Department kept track of their share of city happenings during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Assistant Police Chief David Erickson said the Brookings police made three arrests — two for DUIs and one for resisting arrest — among other noted citations.

“We had a lot of calls made to us — 130,” he said. “More people were out playing games in their yards and having parties this year so there was a high volume of calls made probably in result to that.”

Despite the high number, Erickson said Pub Crawl was well managed and there was not an excess of incidents overall.

“Generally speaking, everything went very well downtown,” he said. “Even though it seemed to be busy, people were keeping good tabs on their behavior and we didn’t have anything too outrageous or crazy happen.”

The bars and police were not the only people staying preoccupied over the wild weekend and Safe Ride was kept busy making sure people downtown had a sober and safe ride home. Ellie Trautman, health educator for Student Health Services, said the busses took home 599 crawlers on St. Patrick’s Day alone and 989 total over the course of the weekend, including Thursday and Friday nights.

After a long day, the crawling continued on Sunday for many — although for different reasons.

“I was moving pretty slow on Sunday and couldn’t run so I just went for a walk,” said Harris. “Man, was it worth it.”