While Las Vegas has been consumed by backing up it's "Sin City" marketing over the years, Reno has quietly become the de facto second home for the master of naughty and nice.
If you want a true taste of holiday spirit, Reno style, or just need to cross that “See Santa Claus vomit in an alley” item off your bucket list, plan on donning your Christmas best and heading downtown on Dec. 10 to participate in this year’s Reno Santa Pub Crawl.
The largest Santa Pub Crawl in the U.S., you’ll be joining roughly 15,000 yuletide imbibers for a night of holiday debauchery and celebration. While it’s easy enough to blend in with that many Santa Claus enthusiasts, you’ll want to take a few simple measures to rock the night proper.
Here are the keys to making your Santa Crawl merry and bright:
Make a plan
Any joker with a red hat, a fake beard and a birthday before Dec. 12, 1995, can get slammered at the Santa Crawl, but you want to be better than that.
There are a number of good deals all over downtown, from beers that range from $1.50 to $3 to special holiday mixed beverages. So don’t just pick a spot and then stammer toward whatever feels good. This isn’t Zombie Crawl, for Blitzen’s sake. Rather, click here or grab a map in the days leading up to the event and plan your route based on the best deals, geography and where you want to finish the night. And be sure to include a few water stops.
If you want to create such a clatter as to be worthy of remembering, you’ve got to make it past midnight.
Remember, this is Reno.
Support the Clause
You can get an official Reno Santa Crawl cup for $5, but the value isn’t just nostalgia. The proceeds for the cups supports local schools. To date, the crawl has contributed more than $200,000 through DonorsChoose.org. Buy one.
When it comes to standing out in a sea of Santas, it’s important to never – ever – take the easy way out and dress up like an elf. It’s not cute. It’s not original. You’re not Will Ferrell.
When the goal is to be the Alpha and Omega of the pub crawl, what kind of mixed message does it send when you wittingly dress up as one of the Big Guy’s little assistants?
If you’ve already found your Ms. Claus and are nabbing some extra holiday naughty points by being cute or you’re a female and can make any costume acceptable by adding the word sexy in front of it, by all means. If not, have some self-respect.
Don't be an elf.
Never. Be. An. Elf.
If you grow it they will come
If you really want to be original, and why shouldn’t you, put in a little extra work and grow your own beard. Ask any reindeer and they'll tell you that much of Santa's power is derived from his bushy, thick face-mane of manliness.
So you want to really rock the Santa Crawl? You dying for the digits of that saucy elf across the bar with the short skirt and sexy suspenders so you can personally offer her a position as Santa's Little Helper? Nothing is going to set you apart from the sea of red more than growing your very own facial feature -- the thicker the better. Color it white, fill it with glitter or just expose it to the world au-naturel in all its splendid glory. Honestly, it doesn't even matter. Grow the right beard and avoid any ill-fated North Pole references and you won't even have to ask.
Get a room
If you really want to do the Santa Crawl right, get a hotel room downtown and make a night of it. Nobody wants a night of drunken, yuletide joy ending with a DUI or, worse, an accident and you might be spending close to as much for an UBER home and then back to pick up your car, anyway.
Plus, you’ll want to be ready if the Ms. Claus in your life decides she’d like to spend this year’s holiday on the Naughty List.