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Twelfth Annual Santa Crawl for a Good Claus Approaches

by on December 10, 2015 6:00 AM
State College, PA

In just a couple days, hundreds of Santa Clauses and other Christmas characters will fill the streets of downtown State College. 

On Saturday, Dec. 12, the 12th annual State College Santa Crawl will commence at 8 p.m. and continue until 2 a.m.

Throughout the six hours, the hundreds of participants will make their way through the 23 bars of downtown State College. 

In 2001, when Larry Fall began to crash Christmas bar parties in State College and hand out 100 stuffed animals to people, he never imagined what his efforts would turn into.

When a friend told Fall of a Christmas bar crawl in Washington D.C. and suggested Fall tried it, the State College Santa Crawl was born. Starting in 2004, there were just five participants and in 2005 there were a dozen. Growing bit by bit every year, last year’s crawl saw a turnout of about 500 people.

“Around 2010 it really took off,” Fall said. “Once people I didn’t know started to show up I realized this crawl might have a life of its own. It has really exploded over the past three years especially.”

This year, an estimated amount of 800 people are expected to participate.

In memory of a beloved Penn State graduate and State College resident, the bar crawl has incorporated a charity aspect of the event.

Starting in 2013, for $20 Santa Crawl participants can purchase a band that will waive entry fees in to the bars. The $20 goes to the Patrick Boland Memorial Intern Award Endowment in honor of a Penn State College of Communications graduate who passed away in 2011. So far the crawl has raised $17,000 for the award and anticipates to make about $10,000 this year.

With such a large turnout, the participants of the crawl are split up into two groups and start their journey on opposite sides of downtown. Every hour the group moves to the next bar until 12 a.m. when they can go into any bar they choose.

“The crawl is an absolute blast and one of the most interesting things about it is that it’s mostly an adult professional crowd,” Fall said. “We travel throughout downtown with music playing. When we first started the bar crawl, we were outliers when we would go into bars dressed up. Now, we take over the bar and you become the outlier if you’re not dressed up.”

This year for the first time there will be a “Run Rudolph Run” 5K Run/Walk through the borough streets starting at 9 a.m. Saturday before the crawl. Participants are encouraged to dress up in their favorite holiday outfits and proceeds from the event will go to The Centre County Youth Services Borough Christmas Crusade as well as the Patrick Boland Memorial Internship Fund.

For more information on the Santa Crawl, head over to the official website for an itinerary, event details, and more.

Jaime is a fall news intern for and a junior at Penn State.
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