Crawl, Don’t Walk

For those of you who don’t know, yesterday was, like, a really big deal. First and foremost, it was Queen Taylor’s 25th birthday.

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Second, yesterday was 12-13-14, the last sequential date any of us will ever see in our lifetimes. (Unless you don’t smoke, eat all of your vegetables, and live to be over 100. #Goals).

The most important part of yesterday, however, took place after the sun went down. Yes, yesterday, all over the nation, people suited up and partied down for the annual Santa Crawl. For those of you who live under a rock or somehow don’t know, the Santa Crawl is an annual event in which thousands of people go bar-to-bar in their raunchiest holiday attire and get lit like Christmas trees. Cause, you know…the holidays.

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Reno Santa Crawl 2013

See? I was not lying when I said literally thousands of people attend this annual event. It’s only, like, the biggest event of the year. During the Santa Crawl, it seems that everywhere you turn, you can find nutcrackers, snowmen, and of course, plenty of Santa Clauses, all partaking in a glass of spiked egg nog or three. Ne’er was a merrier time on the tinsel-lined streets of downtown Reno.

This year, over 50 bars in downtown Reno hosted DJs, costume contests, drink specials, and free cover charges in honor of the festivities.

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Trying to stop by each venue is nearly impossible, and with the freezing temperatures and long lines, attempting to do so would essentially ruin the entire night. That’s why it’s best to just stick to one of the designated circuits: Candy Cane Lane (for the uncreative drunks), Santa’s Workshop (pepper spray recommended), Naughty Alley (only if you’re over 30), Elves’ Playground (no height limit), or Reindeer Town (for those who grow their beards organically).

Seeing that it was my last Santa Crawl in Reno (although I do look forward to my first D.C. Santa Crawl), I decided to make last night a memorable one.

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One of the most important decisions one must make when deciding to crawl is, of course, the choice of costume. For my first crawl, when I was “21” I was a present…

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Notice the red satin, which conveniently tied into a bow in the back.

When I was 21, I was a gingerbread girl…

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Pre-people ripping off my gumdrop buttons. Not my gumdrop buttons 💔😭

So this year, as a 6-foot-tall 22-year-old, I decided to go as the tallest elf in history…

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#PenthouseBalconyLife #QuickTakeAPictureBeforeIFreeze

 Besides, maybe, this elf…

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I must say, last night was one for the books. There’s no time like the Santa Crawl to deck the dolls in red and green, get merloaded, and meet someone special under the mistletoe. Thank you to every friend I ever had the chance to crawl with, thank you to my friends with the penthouse balcony for keeping the wine flowing before the real party began, and thank you to the Reno Santa Crawl for giving me three amazing nights during my time here.

Do you have a funny picture from your city’s Santa Crawl? Tweet them to me and I might retweet you!

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The Birth of a College Town

It’s been discussed for quite some time now. Early believers whispered about a changing face of downtown Reno, though many of us were skeptical if it would ever happen or not. Then suddenly, it did.

It’s seems like overnight, every Reno resident began talking about Reno Rebirth, a plan to rezone the city and develop new businesses, which has been in the works for some years now. Many believe the project got it starts with the development of Reno’s booming midtown district, which is now home to dozens of locally-owned bars, restaurants, and boutiques.

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The development of the midtown district was spearheaded by one of Reno’s mayoral candidates, Hillary Schieve, owner of Plato’s Closet, located in the midtown district. Both Schieve and her opponent, Ray Pezonella, have worked on the Reno Rebirth Project in order to change the look of Reno’s downtown and expand the university campus south of I-80.

The Reno Rebirth project would ultimately hope to see businesses such as pawn shops, tattoo parlors, and souvenir stores removed from the downtown district, to be replaced by bars, restaurants, and boutiques that cater to the university community. Expanding the university into the downtown area would be beneficial for Reno’s economy, and would give the city a more cohesive feeling.

Downtown at night. Reno, Nevada, USA

With the building of three new on-campus, state-of-the-art facilities underway — the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center, Peavine Hall, and the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center — and the announcement that Tesla will begin building a multi-billion dollar battery factory in neighboring Sparks, the Reno Rebirth movement couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Other possibilities that have been discussed are the renovation of downtown hotels into upperclassmen and graduate student apartments, and the building of a new Wolf Pack football stadium south of I-80.

One main concern for students, faculty, and city council members is the safety of students. Currently, most students do not walk downtown past dark, especially alone, out of concern for their own safety. In response to this concern, some have suggested the installation of more street lamps in dimly-light areas between the university and downtown. With the lamps, students would feel free and safe to move seamlessly between the current university campus and downtown area, which, with time, will hopefully blend together.

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With all the change taking place in Reno, I am excited to one day return as an alumna and see what has become of my beloved alma mater and its hometown. After learning about college towns such as Chico, California and Athens, Georgia, which entirely revolve around their respective universities, I began wishing Reno had a similar ambience. Beside its negative reputation (which is thankfully trying to be salvaged by the Biggest Little City campaign), Reno’s biggest issue is the blaring divide between its university and the rest of the city. If we can rid the city of its outdated mini-Las Vegas-wannabe reputation, and instead cultivate a town that lives, eats, and breaths Wolf Pack, we can forever change both the University of Nevada and the City of Reno for the better.

What are some changes you would like to see in your college town? Tweet them to me @misserincollins and I might retweet you!

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The Unofficial Bucket List of the University of Nevada

1. Participate in Welcome Week events — paint the “N” on the hill with fellow members of the Pack, wolf down some pancakes at midnight, and take pride in your university!

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2. Wake up at 4 a.m. for Dawn Patrol at The Great Reno Balloon Race. The killer Instagram you’ll get as proof will make it worthwhile.

3. Eat at Archie’s on game day and get to know some of your fellow Wolf Pack fans.

4. Stroll around downtown with some friends during the Wine Walk. Don’t forget your glitter tattoo at Five Star!

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5. Pig out on some ribs at the Sparks Nugget’s Annual Rib Cook-Off.

6. Become a part of our university’s legacy by partaking in homecoming traditions such as the undie run, carnival, or the March from the Arch.

7. Fill up on mushroom ravioli and peach bellinis at the Annual Italian Festival downtown. If that’s not a recipe for a good time, I don’t know what is.

8. Regardless of whether or not you join a house, participate in at least one Greek life event, whether it be SAE’s Paddy Murphy or Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash.

9. Show off your Wolf Pack pride by participating in Beat UNLV week — moon our neighbors to the south or make the road trip down to Sin City with your best friends.

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10. Try not to scream at Lincoln Hall’s annual haunted house. Let’s be honest, you probably won’t, but it’s a fun thing to do with your friends around Halloween time.

11. Get in touch with your #basic side while drinking hot cider and picking out pumpkins at Apple Hill in Camino, California. Don’t forget your riding boots and Pumpkin Spice Latte, obv.

12. Get dressed up to get messed up at the Santa Crawl. If you want to be truly original, have your friends dress as Santa and his eight tiny reindeer. Pause, not.

13. Visit Lake Tahoe when it’s snowy — drink hot cocoa at The Village at North Star or ski down the powder at Squaw Valley.

14. Visit Lake Tahoe when it’s sunny — sip on a Wet Woody or party at Zephyr Cove on the 4th of July.

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15. Catch up on current events with the Nevada Sagebrush or a Coffin and Keys newsletter. If you’re lucky, you might read your own name one day in the Sagebrush. If you’re unlucky, you might read your own name one day in Coffin and Keys.

16. Stay through the end of a sporting event and sing our alma mater and fight song. N-E-V-A-D-A you say, “Nevada!”

17. Fill yourself with a bizarre mix of pride and shame as you attempt to finish an Awful Awful from the Nugget downtown. Try not to spill on yourself. Fail.

18. Invest in the refillable tremor mug at Kokomo in Lake Havasu on spring break. I’m no accountant, but I’m fairly certain that by the amount of refills you’ll inevitably buy, you’ll end up saving money in the long run.

19. Take the winding drive up the hill and spend a day in Virginia City. Can you say “cinnamon whiskey crawl?”

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20. Play quarters at the Corkscroo, then head downtown for a little gambling on your 21st birthday. Because… Reno.

21. Party bus your way to the Wal one Thirsty Thursday. Regret it. Swear you’ll never drink again. Repeat.

22. Slap the bag while floating down the Truckee River. Wear closed-toed shoes and try not to pop your air mattress on the rocks.

23. Make a sacrifice to the great and honorable Mackay before final exams. Pretend like that excuses you from studying.

24. Swing dance the night away in the Jack Daniel’s tent at the Annual Reno Rodeo. Spend far too much money on Jack and Diets.

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25. Show your patriotism by enjoying the great American pastime at a Reno Ace’s game.

Whether you spread these events out over four years or seven, just be sure that by the time you cross the stage at graduation, you won’t have missed out on any of the fun things our community has to offer!

What’s your favorite annual event at the University of Nevada or within the Reno/Tahoe area? Tweet me a picture and I might retweet you!

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