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Thursday December 1st

'The timing is great to start a tradition:' Mardi Gras Pub Crawl comes this Saturday

Co-owner Danny Jenkins poses for a portrait at Red Moose Brewing Company in Pittsboro, N.C. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. The family-owned establishment is one of many local businesses participating in the Pittsboro Mardi Gras Pub Crawl on Feb. 26, 2022.
Buy Photos Co-owner Danny Jenkins poses for a portrait at Red Moose Brewing Company in Pittsboro, N.C. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. The family-owned establishment is one of many local businesses participating in the Pittsboro Mardi Gras Pub Crawl on Feb. 26, 2022.

The inaugural Mardi Gras Pub Crawl will kick off in downtown Pittsboro on Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight.  

Ten bars and breweries will offer specialty drinks and menu items, while a bus will take crawl-goers from bar to bar.  

This is the second pub crawl in Pittsboro over the past year. In October, the Pittsboro Oktoberfest brought many newcomers to the downtown area. 

"It was a huge success," event organizer Greg Stafford said. "We were really shocked."

During the Mardi Gras event, there will be beads, t-shirts and drinks available to customers.

“It’s essentially a Mardi Gras-themed food and drink extravaganza,” he said. 

The Mardi Gras Pub Crawl is part of a series of events that celebrates the local bar scene and builds community in Pittsboro. 

According to Stafford, there will be an End of Prohibition celebration on April 9, a Craft Beer Day event on May 14, National Beer Day on Aug. 5, and the Chatham Rabbit Celebration on July 16.

Stafford said he hopes the event can liven the historic downtown area, which competes against rapid development. 

Growing up in Chapel Hill, Stafford watched the downtown Cary downtown become overshadowed by increased development and real estate. According to the Cary Historic Preservation Master Plan, there were 17 new retail centers, as well as numerous housing developments, built in the 1980s.

Through the pub crawl, Stafford said he hopes to boost downtown Pittsboro's nightlife. To do this, Stafford began developing SoCo Pittsboro, a space that leases to restaurants, in 2020. 

SoCo is home to The Mod, a modern deli and drinks locale. It is also the eighth stop in the pub crawl.

Mod bartender and Pittsboro resident Anjelica Nouman said The Mod will serve "Mardi Ritas" and king cake shots during the event. 

"The word for this pub crawl has gotten out so much more," she said. "I'm excited to see what kind of turnout we have."

Supporting local businesses 

Red Moose Brewing Company, founded by a family of multi-generational Pittsboro residents, will be the 10th stop on the crawl. Company founder Brandi Morris said she hopes the event will bring more awareness for businesses involved. 

“We just want to bring everybody in to see all of these awesome venues in Pittsboro," she said. "We want it to grow and just get bigger every year.”

Morris said the Red Moose Brewing Company will be serving $4 Tubby Thors — a type of Norwegian beer — and gold, purple and green glitter beers. 

Beth Davis is a downtown regular who will often visit Bite My Cookies Brewing, a distillery. She said she is excited to introduce both locals and newcomers to new venues opening up downtown.  

“I love the challenge of introducing people to Pittsboro,” she said. “Everybody’s friendly. Everybody knows each other, and if we don’t know you, we love to meet new people.”

Bite My Cookies will be serving $5 pints at the pub crawl. 

As a Pittsboro resident of 25 years, Davis said she looks forward to the upcoming events in downtown Pittsboro. 

“Pittsboro is such a destination,” she said. “It’s an eclectic place.”

As COVID-19 cases drop, Karen Coffee, a long-time resident and pub crawl attendee, said she looks forward to being in a shared space with community members. 

She added that the pub crawl will allow her to support local businesses and meet new Pittsboro residents. 

“It can create a really, really nice community,” Coffee said. “I think this Mardi Gras Pub Crawl is one specific way to start doing that.”

Coffee also said she hopes the pub crawl will help spark a larger community tradition of recognizing and boosting local businesses.

"The timing is great to start a tradition recognizing our local businesses and put them more at the forefront," she said. 

For more details on Mardi Gras Pub Crawl drink and menu specials, click here.   

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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