Flights have been grounded, cars are stalling, power-lines are down and Reno Tahoe is all but buried under record low temperatures and snow, but all that won’t make a difference to this year’s Reno Santa Crawl which is expected to draw nearly 5,000 Santa-clad visitors this year for the weekend-long events.
In fact, the blizzard makes for an improved event and another surge in attendance if the pass remains open, says Matty Goedert, event founder and San Francisco based tax-attorney-by-day. “In our eight-year history we’ve lived through two huge snow storms, and the crawlers love it. This is the first year we’re doing Santa Skiing so if conditions continue, it will be the best fresh powder to kick off the season.”
Dubbed “Reindeer Games,” the weekend of Dec. 11-13 kicks off Friday night with a Santa Crawl Pajama Ball at Reno’s National Bowling Stadium. Then, all day Saturday, discounted Santa Skiing at Mt. Rose ski resort for those dressed as Santa.
The games come to head on Saturday night when more than 45 bars, pubs and casinos within a half-mile radius in downtown Reno host a flurry of Red, White and Beards for the eighth annual Reno Santa Crawl into the wee hours of the morning.
Beginning with only a handful of participants, the crawl has steadily grown each year. At the onset of the recession in 2008, organizers experienced a significant and unexpected surge when attendance doubled from 1,500 to 3,000 participants. This year, they are expecting close to 5,000.
In true holiday spirit, proceeds from the event go to the Hashimoto Widows and Orphans Fund for the families of fallen law officers of the Reno-Sparks area.