Whether you want to relive your glory days of the 1980s or just travel back in history to a time before you could drink — or were even born — an upcoming event downtown is sure to be a radical time for all.
Bakersfield's Totally '80s Pub Crawl is next Saturday, so guests still have time to find their old acid-washed jeans or "Miami Vice" suits and perfect those side ponytails and Flock of Seagulls 'dos. The crawl will kick-off at Riley's Tavern and hit up several bars and restaurants downtown.
The event is being put on by Do The Crawl, a business out of Pixley helmed by Sherron Reeder and Dustin Schieler. It's the duo's first crawl in Bakersfield, with four held in Visalia since the business started in late 2017. They already have a handful of pub crawls planned for both locations through the end of the year, with the goal of highlighting local businesses in each city and giving its residents a fun night out.
"I envisioned for myself, if it was me, what kind of event would I want for myself?" Reeder said of initial planning for the pub crawls.
Turns out, the kind of event Reeder would like for herself was a hit with other people. All of the Visalia pub crawls have been successful, with high turnout and engagement. Reeder and Schieler are excited to bring that to Bakersfield, a town to which they both have family ties.
In addition to Riley's Tavern, where guests will first meet, other participating purveyors of food and drink include The Mark, Jerry's Pizza & Pub, Happy Hour Bar & Tapas, The Library, Guthrie's Alley Cat, CraSh Lounge, the Padre Hotel, Tacos Las Salsas Express, Muertos Kitchen & Lounge and Brazil Hot Dogs.
Unlike other pub crawls, where everybody goes to every bar together, at Do The Crawl events, people check-in at a given location before being handed a map with their specific route. People will be broken into groups of 30 to 50 and set in different directions from the initial meeting place. Crawlers will all hit up the same bars but not all at the same time, keeping any location from getting too crowded or overwhelmed.
Pub crawlers will be happy they won't have to wait in long lines to be served, because each location is offering drink specials, like $3 gummy bear shots at Happy Hour Bar & Tapas and $3 Sierra Nevada beers at Guthrie's Alley Cat.
The '80s theme will be incorporated throughout the night, so guests should have fun with their outfit for the night, whether they opt for the sporty ensemble of unitards and leg warmers, the preppy look of sweaters tied around the shoulders, or the iconic lace and leather of Madonna. The best costumes will get a prize.
"The dressing up part is key," Schieler said. "Everybody wants to go out and have a good time and for a reason. This gives you a good reason."
At the bars, guests can participate in different games involving Do The Crawl's social media pages. On Facebook, the organizers will post extreme closeup pictures taken inside the bars for the "Where Am I?" game; pub crawlers then find where the picture was taken, snap a selfie of themselves in that spot and reply to the Facebook post. If they follow Do The Crawl on Twitter, they can participate in the night's trivia contest. Pictures taken in the crawl's photo ops can be shared on Instagram with hashtag #DoTheCrawl for a chance to win a prize.
Of course, there will be other ways to have fun without a cell phone, like the sticker stalker game, which arms people with stickers that they will discretely put on unsuspecting crawlers.
"It sounds silly," Schieler said, "but people absolutely love being able to stick stickers on people."
"It's really fun to watch people play that game," Reeder added.
Prizes will include gift cards to local businesses and, in keeping with the '80s theme, miniature classic arcade games that, despite their size, are actually playable.
"If (they) participate in all the games and do well, a lot of people will go home with the value of what they spent on the ticket price," Schieler said.
There are also prizes for designated drivers who register as such when buying their ticket online. Reeder and Schieler couldn't promise that they all would get a prize but said, depending on how many register, it's likely most will get something. Another way they are encouraging responsible drinking is by offering a $5 credit for new Lfyt users with special code DOTHECRAWL.
Adding a good cause to a good time, Do The Crawl will donate a portion of the proceeds to Second Star to the Right, a local nonprofit helping the families of children with cancer. Reeder said the pub crawls always choose a local charity as a benficiary, with the Valley Oak SPCA their chosen recipient for the Visalia crawls. They chose Second Star, Reeder said, because they wanted an organization that helps children and keeps money in the community.
More than 200 tickets have been sold so far, but Reeder and Schieler are expecting the final count to be somewhere around 500 people.
"It's a lot of fun," Reeder said. "It's more fun than just a normal night out, and you get to support local businesses and charity, and maybe win some stuff."