Hey, Santa Claus, Belly Up to the Bar

By Fritz Hahn
Friday, December 7, 2007

A whole lot of Santa Clauses are coming to town next weekend, as three bar crawls on Dec. 15 encourage participants to don red suits and enjoy drink specials, and maybe help a local charity.

The Santa Stumble is a Georgetown tradition, celebrating its ninth year of holiday revelry. Hundreds of men and women -- dressed as Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and reindeer -- visit four bars, beginning at Third Edition (1218 Wisconsin Ave. NW) at 4. The crawl starts about 8, as the Santas move en masse to the Rhino Bar, then Garrett's and eventually the Guards, leading to hilarious scenes on M Street as shoppers, tourists and bewildered children try to figure out what's going on. For details, visit http://www.santastumble.com.

Lindy Promotions organizes some of the area's best "bar tours," and the new Miracle on 3rd and 4th Street promises to be no exception. Seven Capitol Hill watering holes are taking part, including the Hawk and Dove (329 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), Tune Inn (331 1/2 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) and Finn Mac Cool's (713 Eighth St. SE), offering $2 Miller Lites, $3 Pilsner Urquells and various food specials. Register for the crawl at either Finn Mac Cool's or the Hawk and Dove between 1 and 6.

Admission is $15, or $10 for anyone in a Santa costume or holiday garb, so this could be the time to bust out your favorite reindeer-and-snowflake sweater. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots campaign and get an extra $5 off.

Making its debut in Washington this year is the Running of the Santas, which started in a Philadelphia suburb in 1998 and draws thousands to Philadelphia's South Street every year. The D.C event includes $2.50 Budweiser, Bud Light and Budweiser Select bottles for participants until 6 at six bars between Dupont Circle and Farragut Square, including the Front Page (1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW), Mackey's Public House (1823 L St. NW) and the Sign of the Whale (1825 M St. NW). There is no fee. It wraps up with a party at 8 at McFadden's (2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) with specials and a "Hottest Santa" contest.

-- Fritz Hahn

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