Once upon a time, I replied to a stranger’s email and created a pub crawl.
It was supposed to be a one time thing. I guess we didn’t get the memo, because The Fargo Pirate Pub Crawl is back for the fifth straight year!
We’re celebrating by hitting the streets of downtown Fargo tomorrow, Friday, September 27th and if you’re in town, we want to raise a glass with you.
You’ll find a list of participating bars and specials (spoiler alert — you’ll get lots of free drinks!) at the bottom of this post.
It all started with a pirate bride and groom.
I’ve known Katie since she was born, so of course I was going to be there when she and her husband Jake tied the knot — even if it was at high noon on the pirate ship at Treasure Island on a scorcher of a Las Vegas day.
The bride wore white. The groom wore a Captain Jack Sparrow costume, complete with eye make-up. It was impressive.
Katie and Jake, the couple who started it all.
Since they’re from different parts of the country and had a destination wedding, they had small receptions for the folks back home.
But three parties weren’t nearly enough. The bride’s friend Brian (or Bryan, I really can’t recall) figured the only way to top a pirate wedding would be to have a proper pirate reception.
And since pirates don’t really go for champagne cocktails, The Fargo Pirate Pub Crawl was born.
We have very few ground rules.
We always have it in September so it’s near Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19) and so you can find pirate Halloween costumes in stores. We stop at one bar per hour, and they’re always within walking distance of each other.
And everyone’s invited — the more, the merrier.
People bring friends from out of town or even out of the country.
My friend Calvin brought an incredible enthusiasm for all things pirate to the table and extended the invitation to some new friends — including some new faces from Core Con, a local sci-fi and fantasy convention — which took it to a whole new level.
And there are always people that come entirely on their own and join in the party.
It’s strange; every year we have a couple dozen people RSVP on the Facebook event page and I think “hmmmm…maybe we’ll just be a small group this year….”
…and then I show up and only recognize a fraction of the crowd.
I’ve planned a lot of parties in my life, but this one will always have a special place in my heart. The energy is so crazy. It’s impossible not to love a room full of crazy pirates.
Yeah, we get a lot of looks and somebody always asks why we’re dressed like pirates. But we’ve learned to ditch the long explanation and simply answer “Because it’s awesome.” And it is.
Getting dressed up is a good time and the mix of people is fantastic but the stories you get to tell afterward might be my favorite part.
The very first year was eventful — we ran into another group dressed like pirates (what are the odds?) and throughly confused the other patrons as we took over the HoDo Lounge.
Then there was the year a gullible girl tried to convince us that Pink was playing the Fargo VFW, the time we got mobbed by a bachelorette party and the time someone jumped into the river (I don’t recommend that last one.)
One year people brought a treasure map to the party. One year Calvin made beautiful leather eyepatches. I can’t wait to see what happens this year.
If you’re in Fargo tomorrow, join us!
If you have a fancy pirate costume, you will find an appreciative audience here.
But don’t worry if you don’t. Chances are, you already have plenty of things hanging in your closet that will work just fine. (I once outfitted a half dozen pirates with stuff I wear everyday, so it can be done!)
Or take the easy way out and buy a 99 cent eyepatch at Halloween store.
Whatever you do, come have a drink with us! You can hit all five bars or come and go as you please.
Here’s where we’ll be tomorrow and the drink specials you can expect if you’re in costume. Follow me on Twitter to get updates on our location.
Be there, or ferocious Pirate Erin will find you!
The 2013 Fargo Public Pub Crawl
9pm: Sidestreet Grille and Pub (2-4-1 drinks)
10pm: The Pickled Parrot (specials coming soon)
11pm: Dempsey’s (free Jello shots while supplies last — find me, the pirate wench with the tub o’ shots)
Midnight: The Fargo VFW ($3 rum drinks)
1am: Rooters (2-4-1 drinks)
Pirates must be in costume to receive discounts. One 2-4-1 deal per pirate, please.