The largest and longest running annual pub crawl in Michigan happens for the 19th year on the last Friday in July in Ferndale. One of the most popular and anticipated evenings each summer, the Annual Ferndale Pub Crawl is a tradition in the city and is a walking downtown tour that raises money for local not-for-profit organizations. It has been held every July since 1996. Registration for the event runs from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the newly opened “Twist” nightclub (formerly Boogie Fever) on Woodward in downtown Ferndale. Participants must be at least 21 years of age; motorized vehicles are prohibited.
The event began 19 years ago with 36 people walking to the half dozen bars then in downtown Ferndale. The event grew each year with more people and more clubs and venues, as the renaissance of Ferndale took place in the 90’s and 00’s. This year the crowds will visit 14 pubs, clubs and restaurants. All funds raised go to local tax-deductible charities, including the Ferndale Police Auxiliary, Ferndale Community Foundation, Detroit Derby Girls, and Michigan AIDS Coalition. The event has raised more than $160,000 for such charities since it began. Crawlers travel in groups of 20 to 80 people. They may spend a half hour or more at each venue. Detroit Derby Girls will lead several groups this year.
The venues are as diverse as the crowds of residents and visitors who attend, and include upscale martini bars, several dance clubs, sports bars, gay bars, restaurants, “shot & a beer” neighborhood bars and a couple of Irish pubs. Almost everyone’s favorite each year is the Elks Lodge which is open to crawler registrants. The participants are as diverse as society itself, and everyone feels welcome as they visit the shops and stores that abound in Ferndale. Several dozen volunteers help the event run smoothly and safely, along with Ferndale Auxiliary Police.
“What folks love most about this summer event is the camaraderie and energy, and also going to places they may have never visited. It raises money for charity, showcases Ferndale’s vibrant downtown, and has just become this major tradition” said pub crawl founder and former Ferndale mayor Craig Covey.
A new venue this year includes Secreto Cigar Bar on W. Nine Mile Road. M-Brew and Schramm’s Mead are back again this year. Crawlers pay no cover charges at any of the clubs, many featuring drink specials handcrafted with Tito’s Vodka. Participants are always encouraged to spend the night in Ferndale, walk, use cabs, designated drivers or car services, Uber, or stay with our sponsor Hotel Royal Oak.
Top sponsors this year include Danny’s, Rosie O’Grady’s, Jack and Anita Aronson, One Eyed Betty’s, and Tito’s Vodka. Additional sponsors include Twist, Nick Schrock Allstate, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash, Ferndale Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Martin, Craig Covey, Soho, and The Bar Downstairs. .
www.ferndalepubcrawl.org Advance tickets are $10 or $12 at the door. To volunteer or questions email email@example.com.