Residents of the biggest little city may not realize it, but there was a time when it was strange to see Batman, Thor and Quail Man getting beers together. For the last 5 years, though, for one Saturday night in July, super heroes, villains and other bizarre characters descend on downtown to enjoy themselves together and support local businesses at the Reno Superhero Crawl.
Organizers of the crawl say that the Reno event, now in its sixth year, was the first Superhero Themed bar crawl in the world and spawned a rapidly growing phenomenon. Matthew Goedert, creator of the event, as well as Reno’s world-famous Santa Crawl, says that he started the event in order to give locals who were longing for the fun of dressing up like santas something different to do in the summer.
Since it began, the crawl has been featured by Wired Magazine and the television show Art Mann Presents, and has been imitated by similar events in several cities such as Portland, San Diego and Philadelphia. Over the years, Reno has also seen other themed crawls emerge such as the Reno Zombie and Vampire crawls. Goedert credits Reno’s vibrant nightlife and penchant for dressing in costumes for the growth in crawl popularity.
In order to participate in this year’s event on Saturday, July 14th, crawlers are asked to purchase a commemorative cup and map, which entitle them to over forty different drink specials at twenty different bars downtown, and access to more than fifteen different costume contests where they can win prizes ranging from cash, to VIP treatment or just the knowledge that their outfit rose above the rest. Cups can be purchased starting July 4th at Junkee Clothing Exchange on Virginia St., or at Strega Bar on Arlington Ave. on the night of the crawl.
According to organizers and participating businesses, the event isn’t just a good time but it also benefits the community. Bars, costume shops, restaurants and resort casinos all point to the crawl as being a substantial boost for business and look forward to it each year. In addition, the proceeds from limited VIP cups that come with drink tickets go directly toward local educational programs put on by nonprofit Future Kind, funded through Reindeer Games. Information on the event can be found at www.superherocrawl.com.