YBOR CITY – Santas, Mrs. Clauses, some elves, helpers – some naughty and some nice – and maybe even a Christmas tree or reindeer will take to the streets of Ybor City on Saturday.
The 13th annual Santa Pub Crawl begins at 6:30 p.m. at The Honey Pot, 1507 E. Seventh Ave., and continues through four others locations in Ybor City.
All participating bars and lounges will be closed to guests except participants in the annual charity event, said organizer Scott Sestak of Tampa Charities. Each will have drink special for the “crawlers.”
This year some of those characters might be a little scarier or grotesque, as the volunteer organizers are incorporating some “spooky” holiday movie themes into the plans.
The pub crawl began in 2000 when four friends decided to have a party and donate the money to charity. About 125 people turned out. A couple years later, Tampa Charities, a nonprofit organization, was formed. Since then, the number of participants has grown to about 1,000.
The organization has raised more than $100,000 from the event, with the money going to Meals on Wheels. The U.S. Marine Corps. also is on hand to collect toys for its Toys for Tots program.
“We are all volunteers and no one has ever made any money off this. The bars even chip in a couple bucks for operating costs,” Sestak said.
Meals on Wheels provides volunteers as does Sestak’s krewe, Krewe of Brigadoon, with more than 30 volunteers needed to keep collect admission and keep the crowd moving.
Tickets are $20 for those in costume with an unwrapped toy; $30 for those not in costume with an unwrapped toy. Advance tickets are available online.