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Cowboy Crawl takes over downtown Sparks
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
Jun 14, 2013 | 1840 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed photo by Jeramie Lu -- The Cowboy Crawl is only in its second year in downtown Sparks, but event managers say the event has potential to grow each year and eventually become Spurs and Sparks.
Contributed photo by Jeramie Lu -- The Cowboy Crawl is only in its second year in downtown Sparks, but event managers say the event has potential to grow each year and eventually become Spurs and Sparks.
SPARKS -- Two years ago, the Cowboy Crawl was just an idea to bring a regular happening of downtown Reno to Victorian Avenue. If the streets of Reno could be filled with beer-drinking zombies and superheroes, why can’t Sparks have a few cowboys and cowgirls roaming its closed-off streets?

Saturday’s 10-bar crawl marked a new chapter for the Cowboy Crawl, which moved from its original Memorial Day weekend date to an isolated day, leading up to the Reno Rodeo, allowing it to grow toward its ultimate goal. Paul Klein, Director of Communications and Marketing at event management company Eventive, said future plans for the Cowboy Crawl are already in the works.

“Eventually we would like to see this event mold into what we call Spurs and Sparks,” Klein said, “And have it be a day event with hay rides, a petting zoo, games and things that are family friendly with some food down there and an entire country festival of sorts. You can have your families out there with the kids to do some fun stuff during the day and lead into the entertainment and beer crawl in the evening.

“It really kicks off the rodeo. That is the long-term vision of what this could be, but it is still something we would like to have.”

Though Spurs and Sparks has yet to evolve, the Cowboy Crawl has found its home on Victorian Avenue where country clad crawlers can meander from John Ascuaga’s Nugget to local bars in the heart of downtown Sparks. Klein said the country/cowboy theme is a perfect fit for the region and the city.

“When the idea for downtown Sparks and Victorian Avenue, the Nugget and the adjoining bars on Victorian Avenue came up, there was a look at what really matched that area as an event brand,” Klein said. “And we thought it has got to be something that is cowboy, rodeo, country music, and it just fit perfectly.”

The Nugget was on board immediately when Eventive approached them about the event. The Nugget has been building up the country and cowboy themes for a few months and Public Relations Manager Lauren Garber said there is no end in sight.

“Reno is very well known for a number of different crawls that they do downtown,” Garber said, “And we don’t necessarily have that recognition here in the Sparks area, but that is definitely something that we are working towards. It is important to bring new events to the Sparks area and it just the fit for Victorian Avenue, having all those bars on one street, in one place and having the street closed for safety makes it the perfect fit for an event like this.”

Garber said having participants finish their night of crawling with the Nugget’s Country at the Cabaret brings an element of entertainment not found in other parts of the region.

“There are not a lot of exclusively country bars in Sparks, or even in Reno for that matter,” Garber said, “And this is a place for people who like to dance to country music, who like line dancing or who want to learn new moves. This is a place to come and do that dancing and have fun.

“We use our Cabaret for a number of different events and country nights twice a week and we are going to start bringing in live bands on occasion. It has been very successful so far. There is a very loyal following to country line dancers, which we appreciate and we are happy to have the here at the Nugget. And we do plan to expand.”

Klein said Victorian Avenue is a great venue for a crawl because of enhanced safety features and proximity of participating bars. He added that the Cowboy Crawl’s theme sets it apart in many ways from the frequent crawls in downtown Reno.

“One thing that I have always thought is because of the brand, the feeling and the culture of the Truckee Meadows, anything that is related to cowboy country really fits our mold,” Klein said. “I think it is easier to participate because I think everybody has a cowboy hat or cowboy boots, a flannel shirt or a pair of Wranglers. So it is really easy. The other ones you really have to go out of your way to dress up for and this one is much easier. You can show up in what you wear every day and just fit right in with the theme because of our roots as an area.

“I also like the fact that it is in Sparks and this one is really something Sparks can hone. It is a nice little area and Victorian Square lends itself nicely with this type of event because everything is within walking distance, and it is nice and open so you won’t have to worry about the traffic.”

Participating bars in downtown Sparks now look forward to the Cowboy Crawl each year, according to Klein, and he said their participation only helps the event grow.

“They were excited actually and after last year’s event they actually approached us and said ‘Can we do one of these every month?’” Klein said. “The great thing about this is that it is once a year and there is some anticipation and it also gives us a chance to plan and make it better each year.”
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