It’s a pub crawl. It’s a scavenger hunt. It’s a pedestrian poker run with a basketball theme. Whatever you call it, it’s happening downtown Saturday night.
Organizers call it the March Madness Bracket Crawl, coinciding with the NCAA Tournament. It will showcase the downtown district’s 17 bars and restaurants from 5 until 9:30 p.m. Each venue will offer discounts on food or beverages. Some will offer live music.
Participants who visit at least nine venues will be eligible for prizes including $25 gift certificates donated by the bars and restaurants. Participants also are urged to wear the colors of their favorite team.
“It’s a fun way to see what downtown Gulfport has to offer and for people to visit places they may not have visited,” said Caroline Blackmon of Alpha Media. The radio group, which owns five Mississippi Coast radio stations, is sponsoring the crawl with help from Mitchell Distributing.
With each venue donating four $25 gift certificates, that’s 68 prizes valued at a total of $1,700. There also will be giveaways of radio station and Bud Lite gear including T-shirts.
“People who come out will be able to see how each bar and restaurant is special in their own way,” Blackmon said. “It’s going to be a blast. It’s a fun way for the community to gather.”
The crawl is free, but participants must register to qualify for prizes. Registration is on 13th Street at the south entrance to Fishbone Alley, the artsy, funky pedestrian walkway that opened in October.
Each registrant will get a wristband and a “bracket sheet.” Every venue you visit will give you a stamp for your sheet to show you’ve been there.
Prizes will be given out at 9:30 p.m. in Fishbone Alley. In case of rain, prizes will be awarded at Murky Waters Blues & BBQ restaurant.
“There are many chances to win great prizes,” said Laurie Toups, executive director of Main Street Gulfport, which is helping promote the event, “and each place will offer deep discounts on some sort of finery — my word for adult beverages — or meals or appetizers.
“This is a great incentive to visit these fine places and to meet the people who work there.”