Saturday, April 20, 2024

Never too early to plan: Big showing expected for Topsail Island pub crawl on St. Patrick’s Day

The pub crawl's organizer expects 300 to 500 participants after last year's big showing. The route will include at least four bars on Topsail Island while two in Snead's Ferry consider participation.

Last year's pub crawl at the first bar, Tortuga's Nest. Its organizer, Tortuga's co-founder Angela Crain, expects 300 to 500 people to show this year. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Angela Crain)
Last year’s pub crawl at the first bar, Tortuga’s Nest. Its organizer, Tortuga’s co-founder Angela Crain, expects 300 to 500 people to show this year. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Angela Crain)

SURF CITY — For those who like to plan well ahead for America’s favorite day of drinking while dressed in Irish green, another Topsail Island pub crawl is in the works.

Angela Crain, co-owner of Tortuga’s Nest and the woman who organized last year’s pub crawl, said she is considering hiring a charter bus to help transport a portion of the 300 to 500 participants she expects this year. Many, she said, will follow along with designated drivers behind the wheel.

“We grew as we traveled [last year],” Crain said. “We started with about 30 people and we finished with 400 by the time we got back to Tortuga’s.”

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Although she’s still ironing out the details, the route will start and end at Tortuga’s and will include 45-minute stops at JM’s Place, The Brass Pelican, and Shuckin’ Shack. Two bars just off the island in Sneads Ferry — Lo-re-Lei and Harbor Site – are being considered.

“People have been calling us since November to find out if we’re doing the pub crawl,” Crain said.

She said Tortuga’s lost four walls – “brought down to studs” – during Hurricane Florence and was the last bar on the island to re-open after the storm, incurring a total of $300,000 in re-construction costs.

Chloe Blum was on the shuttle during last year’s shuttle ride around the island.

Tortuga's Nest co-owner and pub crawl organizer Angela Crain on last year's shuttle ride around the island's bar scene. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Angela Crain)
Tortuga’s Nest co-owner and pub crawl organizer Angela Crain on last year’s shuttle ride around the island’s bar scene. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Angela Crain)

Going from bar to bar was a lot of fun as the party continued inside the bus,” Blum said.

According to Crain, the group took seriously the holiday’s tradition of wearing green, with people showing up in green wigs, green tutus, green eyelashes, dyed beards, and leprechaun’s hats. She said they had gone up the island and back down, with a food stop in the middle for people to eat and “re-charge a little bit, sober up a little bit.”

People were singing on the bus “karaoke-style,” she said, something she plans to encourage this year as well.

Crain hopes to have t-shirts ready for this year’s pub crawl so participants can get a signature at each bar – proof that every bar was visited – and enter their names into a raffle at Tortuga’s at the end of the boozy tour. She said nineties grunge rock band Just Yesterday will be playing and winners can win giveaways and raffle prizes, including a new neon sign. 

The pub crawl will begin at Tortuga’s at 2 p.m. and end at Tortuga’s at 6 p.m. Crain encouraged people in nearby Wilmington and Jacksonville to come up and enjoy the island’s bar scene, noting the importance of responsible transportation afterward.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correctly identify the establishments participating. The original version incorrectly listed The Peak as a participant. 

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