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Sugar House Journal

Sugar House Pub Crawl draws in thousands

Jun 24, 2019 15h28 ● By Jenniffer Wardell

Left to right: Ashton Martin, Karen Heaton, Jasmine Godoy, Karen Romig and Jaide Matson share a table at the Fiddler's Elbow during the Sugar House Pub Crawl. (Jenniffer Wardell/City Journals)

By Jenniffer Wardell | [email protected]

Sugar House’s nightlife had its day in the spotlight. 

Thousands came out for this year’s Sugar House Pub Crawl held May 25. Hosted by the Sugar House Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Wasatch Brewery, the crawl encouraged visitors to experience the bars and restaurants in downtown Sugar House. Participants who stopped by all participating establishments were eligible to win prizes from the chamber.

“We wanted to bring more exposure to the restaurants and pubs in Sugar House, and give the community something to do on Saturday that would be a lot of fun,” said Sugar House Chamber of Commerce President Benjamin Sessions. 

Now in its fifth year, he said that more and more people come to the event each year.

“It brings people from all over the valley to Sugar House,” he said. “People seem to really love it.” 

Participants picked up free passports at any one of the nine participating locations, then collected stamps at any of the participating locations. No purchase was required to get a stamp, but most attendees at this year’s event stopped to get a drink, snack or meal at several of the places they visited. 

“I think it encourages you to go to places you normally wouldn’t go,” said Karen Heaton, who came up from Sandy with a neighbor and some of their grown children to attend the event. “It forces you go to outside your normal drinking box.” 

One change from last year’s event was the absence of a wrap-up party at the plaza, which was cut from the event due to complications with permits. 

“We wanted to simplify things for the businesses and make it easier overall,” said Sessions. 

The lack of wrap-up party didn’t mean a lack of prizes. Participants who collected stamps from all nine locations were encouraged to turn in their passports for this year’s prize drawing. The first-place prize was tickets for this year’s Mountain Brewers Beer Fest, held June 1 in Idaho Falls. The second prize was tickets to the Squatters Craft Beers 30th birthday party in September, and the third-place prize was tickets to the Utah Beer Festival in August.  

Participants did not need to be present to win the drawing and were notified via email. 

Some participants were dedicated to trying out for the prizes or at least visiting as many stops as possible. South Jordan resident Amber Dunford, who brought a Meetup group she was hosting, said she and her friends always make the most of the event.

“The bars around Sugar House are the best in Utah,” she said. “You get to hit them all in one day and suddenly it’s socially acceptable.” 

A handful of families also participated in a modified version of the pub crawl where they only visited the participating restaurants. Sessions’ own family attended the event and though they weren’t eligible for prizes it didn’t seem to dampen their enthusiasm. 

“I didn’t want to stay home, so I’m wearing the baby (in a sling) and we’ve got the toddler,” said Heather Sessions. “It’s still so fun. I would totally advocate families come out and do the non-pub version of the pub crawl.” 

Even for those without kids, many participants saw the event mostly as an opportunity to enjoy a day on the town.

“It’s really just an excuse to ride our bikes down, get together with friends and enjoy the weather,” said Patrick Buckner, who rode over with a group of friends from the Avenues. “It’s nice to have a reason to get outside and walk around Sugar House.”