For people looking to learn a bit more about Blue Earth County’s history—while enjoying good drinks with good friends—the Blue Earth County Historical Society has just the ticket: its upcoming Virtual Pub Crawl, scheduled for June 11.
“Pub crawls have always been a popular activity for BECHS,” said Heather Harren, BECHS communications and archives manager. “With the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are not able to do a traditional pub crawl. After experimenting with virtual programs through Zoom, we thought, ‘Why not try this too?’”
BECHS has been organizing pub crawls since 2010, but the evening was almost always restricted to Mankato. While pub crawlers did go visit two locations in Lake Crystal in 2011, since then, it was too difficult to move tour groups around so much, Harren said.
However, operating in a virtual format opened up the possibility of exploring pubs outside the Mankato area. This year, BECHS has been able to incorporate requests from previous participants while planning out stops, including locations outside of Mankato.
“We often will get people asking where we could go out-county or on Madison Avenue (coming in August), but just didn’t work in our current format,” Harren explained. “With most towns only having one place that would work for a stop, it makes it hard to have a full pub crawl in that town. Virtually, we can make out-county not only feasible, but bring in those from a business or two where sometimes they are too busy to stop by all three stops. We are so excited to be going out-county once again.”
The virtual pub crawl will last about an hour and be broken into three history sections focused on different areas, with breakout sessions between the history bits. While “visiting” a pub, tour members will learn about the location through pictures and street views. The breakout sessions will allow tour members to talk with each other in a similar way to social time at in-person pub visits, while the history sections will be led by a costumed presenter.
Harren said she recommends grabbing something to eat and a favorite beverage during the presentation for an added touch of authenticity.
The program runs 7-8 p.m. on June 11 and will be held via Zoom, with a cost of $10 per household. Those interested can register by visiting the BECHS website: https://blueearthcountyhistory.com/event/virtual-pub-crawl/.