This year's Santa Crawl in downtown Reno was fifty times better than last years, for numerous reasons. For one, the event promoters learned from the urine-drenched alleys of last year and placed high-end porta-potties around downtown, which made a world of difference. The problem of lack of restrooms was fixed this year.
The weather was better, and there was a jovial mood on the streets. I didn't see any fights, everybody had a great attitude and acted like adults for the most part, and I saw some amazing costumes.
One of the highlights this year for me was CommRow. Much like last year, the lines for the bars downtown in particular swelled to two blocks long by 9 pm. The 5-Star's line to get in started at the corner of 2nd and West Street. CommRow was one of the few places we were able to walk right into. With five bars, the lines for drinks thinned out a bit. Centric was playing thumpin' dance music. But the real treat was outside.
Commrow had set up a dj booth and some sick speakers on the 2nd level climbing deck overlooking Virginia Street, and blasted house music down to the crowd on the street below, most of whom were dancing directly in front of CommRow. People on the deck interacted with the people on the street in a very Mardi-Gras style way, and it was a moment of 'big-city'-ness that had me questioning if I was still in Reno. I hope CommRow extends this model to other big venues downtown, including Art Town, Italian Festival and of course, New Years Eve.
At midnight, what-could-be-called the largest marshmallow fight in America began, with some flour tortillas added as a new projectile weapon for the big showdown under the arch.
All in all it was a fantastic night, and I'm pretty sure visitors last night not only had fun, but were impressed with how smoothly everything went down.