Four thirsty Spencer moms had such a blast organizing a spontaneous holiday bar crawl in December that they are at it again just in time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
This Saturday, starting at 6 p.m. at the Silver Hammer, Thirsty Mom Events is leading The Grand Green Charity Bar Crawl. There will be a raffle basket, a social media share prize and, of course, donations to the featured charity: Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault (CAASA).
“I think we’re probably most excited for the amount of donations that we can give back to CAASA and the turnout,” said Mary Narsi, who makes up a fourth of the women behind Thirsty Mom Events. “I mean it’s so exciting when you see people out and about. Everybody was so happy that night at the last bar crawl.”
The other three moms in the group are Liz Bohnenkamp, Stephanie Buren and Alex Domino. Those three grew up and attended Spencer High School together. Narsi became part of the group when she and her husband, originally from Spencer, moved to the area.
How the holiday bar crawl came together
The last bar crawl, which the group dubbed The Grand Christmas Bar Crawl, was at first only going to be a get together among the friends.
“We needed an excuse to get together around the holidays and so it kind of started as a group text message,” Bohnenkamp said.
In the texts, they chatted through details of a friends night out. The text message conversation became a Facebook event that they decided to keep open to the public.
“It was like a quick, 10-minute conversation via text and then it just turned into this huge thing,” Domino said.
It blew up.
Soon, more and more people were showing interest on Facebook, 487 to be exact. Though 130 checked in to the event’s Facebook page, there were probably more who showed up at some point throughout the night.
“It was huge success,” Bohnenkamp said. “We were definitely really, really excited and we didn’t expect that.”
The bars on the crawl’s route were packed.
“All the bar owners have told us it’s the busiest they’ve ever seen their bars,” Narsi said. “It was insane. It was so packed.”
The crawl attracted people of all backgrounds, Domino said.
“Every single walk of life,” she added. “We had teachers and bankers and the younger crowd. You get such a variety of who actually lives here.”
The event resulted in $350 cash and a car-load of toys and food for Upper Des Moines Opportunity. The organizers also received a ton of positive feedback from delighted bar owners asking when they’d do it again.
The night was what the friends had envisioned and more.
“We really wanted to contribute to the community by just getting people out and getting the local establishments full of people,” Bohnenkamp said. “Because every time we would catch a drink together it was just really quiet wherever we were. You typically hear younger families here in town or younger couples wishing that there was more to do, more nightlife. So, it kind of all went hand-in-hand and Steph said, ‘Well, why don’t we use whatever donations we get to give back to nonprofits in the community.”
The Grand Green Charity Bar Crawl schedule
So, behind the name Thirsty Mom Events, they’re ready to go again.
The Grand Green Charity Bar Crawl kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday at The Silver Hammer. After that, they’ll hit up 5:13, then Weasy’s, Pour Judgement and finish the evening around 12 a.m. at Sneakers.
In addition to the giveaways and prizes, the bars will also be upping the fun factor.
“For this one, the bars even plan to do specialty drinks and things like that for St. Patrick’s Day,” Narsi said.
That means green clothes and green beer, of course.
People will have opportunities to donate some green of the paper variety to CAASA throughout the evening.
“It’s all about just really building events around the community and donating things to the community and getting people out there,” Domino said.
Thirsty Mom Events plans future fun
The group may branch out into different event types in the future.
“Not always bar crawls,” Buren said. “I mean this was just the logical next bar crawl. After the last one, everyone asked, ‘When are you going to do it again?’ And St. Patrick’s Day just seemed like a perfect time. Considering everybody always goes to Emmetsburg, it seemed like it would give us a way to keep people in town.”
Just creating more things to do in Spencer has been the friends’ main focus this whole time, but they want to help establishments promote other events, too.
“I think we kind of wanted to go into the events planning, that sort of thing, because we just want more stuff to do in Spencer,” Narsi said. “We kind of thought, OK, if we plan these bar crawls, it’ll get people out and doing thing and taking advantage of the fun bars we have here in town. And then also we can promote other events happening to get the word out there.”
Feature image: Thirsty Mom Events is, from left, Stephanie Buren, Alex Domino, Liz Bohnenkamp and Mary Narsi.