On November 14, 2015, I woke up just as I always do on Saturdays – a little groggy, with a partial headache – but on this particular morning something else fell over me, I was extremely thirsty.
This wasn’t because I was dehydrated, and I wasn’t craving Gatorade like I usually do.
No, it was because it was time for the Keene State College fall Pub Crawl.
I mentally prepared myself for this journey into the drunken world of the fall crawl by sitting in the Zorn Dining Commons and downing as many waters as I could without drowning.
I looked around and saw many other students doing the same thing as me, all wearing their respective team shirts for the day, which were black with either white, blue, orange, red, yellow or green lettering and prints to decipher the teams.
The DC was buzzing with talk of what was to come.
Around 11:30 a.m. my team, the white team, started gathering together at one of the seniors houses, where we started to prepare.
Mimosas were being sipped to ease the headaches from the night before, and Justin Bieber’s new “Sorry” track was turned up to eleven.
I found myself dancing terribly with the other 80 members of my team by noon with a beer in my hand and excitement in my heart.
It was almost time to start the crawl.
Around 12:45 a.m., someone killed the music and yelled, “Let’s go, Pour House!”
Then all 80 of us ran, literally, like it was a race, to the first bar of the day. It was officially time.
The crawl began at 1 p.m. for my team and once everyone’s IDs were checked, we were good to go.
From Pour House we went to Scores Bar and Grill where we took a great group picture in front of their “Selfie Station.”
This was one of the highlights of the day because it’s not often all of us get to be together like that, and having a photo to look back at is pretty special. Especially since every team got to take a picture like that as well.
That’s really what this whole day was about: a sense of community between the seniors, and a feeling of connectivity between us, Keene State College, and the City of Keene itself.
This year was particularly special because all 480 of the crawlers raised over $1,000 to donate to the Community Kitchen and the Samaritans, who support suicide awareness.
Although there were six different teams, we all come together as one to help out the community that’s given us so much for the past four years, and that felt terrific.
Senior Alison Rancourt experienced firsthand gratitude that day on the way to one of the bars.
When asked how her time was she said, “It was nice to get stopped by some people in Keene and thanked for donating money raised back to local organizations.” She then went on to express a feeling that many of us were having that day.
“I thought pub crawl was really fun and it was a great way to get all the seniors together. Overall it was a huge success and definitely a memory I think everyone will share,” she said.
As the day went on, the laughing and drinking continued at Kilkenny Pub, then to Lab n’ Lager Ale House where I switched from Gin and Sours to Bud Lights due to the inevitable. I was drunk.
Then we all staggered to Penuche’s Ale House to cap off the day at 6 p.m.
Senior Mackenzie Hiemert, when asked about how his crawl went, said, “It was lit.” When asked if he got into Lab n’ Lager or Penuche’s Ale House, the fourth and fifth bars on the crawl, Hiemert laughed and said, “No, and I was wicked PO’d about it.”
For some that was the case, not only were the bars letting us have our fun, but they were keeping us safe by knowing when to stop serving students who consumed just a little bit too much that day.
Senior Jeff Hatheway was one of many to make it to the very end. he maintained a steady pace when crawling and at the end of the day said he had a great time.
Hatheway said, “Pub Crawl was very fun, I enjoyed myself, had a few beverages and hung out with my friends.”
When asked what the Pub Crawl meant to him, he replied, “Friendship, a lot of friendship and unity, there’s a lot of teamwork going on to try to get to the last bar.”
What Hatheway said really summed up the crawl: friendship was all around Keene that day.
Being with 80 people for five straight hours of drinking did not only make current friends closer, but it also made new friends feel like they’ve known each other for years. Sometimes all it takes to make new friend is a cheap wells drink, a barstool and a laugh.
I’m sure from the outside Pub Crawl just looks like a way to get a huge group of people together to get drunk, but this really isn’t the case.
It’s a way to build a relationship with Keene as a city, while having an incredible time with all of your classmates.
Pub Crawl enables a large group of friends who can’t always find time to gather to commit to a full day of being together with no interruptions or obligations other than to drink and be merry.
Although some of the details are foggy, and this morning I thought I was lying in my death bed, Pub Crawl is something I’ll never forgot and I’m honored that I have 479 other seniors to share this memory with for the rest of our lives. Cheers.
Berek Martichuski can be contacted at Berek.Martichuski@ksc.keene.edu