ELKTON — As families prepare to gather at the dinner table for Thanksgiving, several downtown businesses are getting a jumpstart on the festivities with a Turkey Trot Bar Crawl on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
Patrons will be able to eat, drink and be merry as they visit participating businesses, including North Street Hotel, C3ntral Tavern, Elk River Brewing Company, Minihane’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, and Spork.
Beckie McMahon, owner of C3ntral Tavern, points to North Street Hotel owner Jimmy Nicholson, also known around town as “Jimmy the Greek,” as the originator of the bar crawl tradition.
“For many years prior to C3ntral Tavern being here, Jimmy the Greek at North Street Hotel always invites everyone for the night before Thanksgiving because traditionally it is the biggest day for people to gather friends and family — with the exception of New Year’s Eve, obviously.”
But Nicholson said he cannot take credit. He said that for many years, people returning to Elkton for the holidays looked for a place to congregate and his hotel simply welcomed them in.
“It’s just that I was the one who had a business when it first started,” he said. “It started from college days. I didn’t start it. It just happened. I didn’t plan it or nothing. When they came home from college, they made plans for what they were going to do for the weekend after Thanksgiving so they got together and they used to hang here.”
Origins aside, McMahon said she approached Nicholson about turning the idea into a town wide event and he was on board.
With success during past bar crawls and other downtown events, such as the Elkton Alumni Bar Crawl, SantaCon and St. Patrick’s Day festivities, McMahon said having a bar crawl the night before Thanksgiving seemed like the perfect way to kick off the holiday — and to showcase everything Elkton has to offer.
“With all these great things happening downtown, we kind of wanted to keep that momentum going to show everyone how wonderful downtown is, how much it’s changed and how much we have going on,” she said. “Everyone is working extremely well together to have a little bit of something for everyone down here.”
According to McMahon, the bar crawl will run from 6 to 11 p.m., but she said the businesses are expecting folks to flock to the downtown area from happy hour on.
McMahon said the businesses also obtained permission from the Elkton Board of Commissioners to allow people to openly carry alcoholic beverages from business to business on Main Street and down to Nicholson’s hotel on North Street for that night only.
The participating businesses will be selling food and drinks to customers, and will be extending their hours to 11 p.m. if they are not typically open that late, according to McMahon.
When she was helping put the bar crawl together, McMahon said it was a “no-brainer” as a way of showcasing the “amazing things that are happening” in downtown Elkton.
McMahon encouraged people to come out to the bar crawl “to see and experience what Elkton has to offer lately and the change that we have, the camaraderie and the cool places. There’s something for everyone down here. We’re all together, it’s very close, and you can get a little piece of everything when you come to the Town of Elkton.”