Ed Adkins has been creating and organizing the well-known Crawl Reno bar crawls for many years. The Onesie Crawl is on Feb. 8, and cups can be bought at many different locations including Party America, a main sponsor for the event.
How did the bar crawls first begin?
Well, I went to my first bar crawl on accident and had never been. I loved the atmosphere and the way people gathered for the event, and for me, I’ve always loved stuff like zombies, and with my birthday being in October, it was always around Halloween. Once I went to that first bar crawl on accident, the idea to create my own in Reno just followed. The first crawl we put on, I think 100 or so people showed up, and it was kind of like a big house party, which was the main goal: To have this party where everybody knows each other. And even though five times as many people showed up in the next couple years, it’s never lost that atmosphere.
With how much success the crawls have seen, and how many ideas you’ve come up with over the years, do you ever think of the possibility of Reno hitting a saturation point? When can you tell if there’s just too many crawls?
We try to always stick to the original idea of having a party where you look across the bar and know the person. So, with that, we can always tell just because people will recognize and come up and say whether they liked a crawl or not, and we just go off of that type of feedback. Plus, the attendance of each crawl is obviously pretty showing on whether or not we should do the same crawl next year or add more. It’s completely based on how the people react and what they have to say whether in person or afterwards on social media. The only real threat we fear is losing what we wanted to make.
Is social media something you use regularly when planning the crawls and looking for feedback?
Oh yeah. That’s how we advertise the event and get people knowing that it’s happening. That’s how we’ve heard a lot of stories over the years from people who go if they don’t see us and tell [us] in person. We try to show our identity through social media and advertising the crawls because something that is really important to us is showing that everyone belongs. People worry so much about going out because they think they won’t fit in, but that isn’t the case here.
Even with all the new developments in Reno, and how much the city has been growing, you don’t ever worry about losing that identity?
I feel as if people who come to Reno and try to change it are just embarrassed or scared of it. We party better than anyone else in the world, and as long as we don’t lose what gives us teeth, then we’ll be fine. Our events come from the people of Reno. Interns we have from [the University of Nevada, Reno] gave us the idea for the Harry Potter crawl, and people will really just come up and request different ideas for crawls that, if we think there’s a crowd for, we’ll try to make it happen. The crawls give something that makes Reno unique, and no one does what we do. No other place has people coming up to you and telling you countless experiences and stories they’ve had because of the crawls. I’m incredibly lucky to do what I do.