Local Business Benefits from Beat the Bitter’s Snuggie Crawl

Every year, in the cold of winter, revelers descend on North Liberty restaurants dressed to the nines in their finest…sleaved blankets?

The dress code is all part of North Liberty’s Snuggie Crawl presented by McGrath Toyota of Iowa City and part of the city’s Beat the Bitter winter festival. The Snuggie is the event ticket, after all.

The crawl, now in its sixth year, includes activities, food, bussing between venues, additional food and drink specials and, of course, a special Snuggie for partygoers (limited tickets are still available for the 2024 event on Feb. 3). Since its inception, the Snuggie Crawl has brought thousands of attendees — more than 45 percent from out of town — to bars and restaurants during an annual slow season.

Each event is a collaboration between the city and local businesses. The stops change year to year (in 2024 the stops are Tin Roost, Field Day Brewing, Copper Boar, Micky’s, Reds Alehouse and J&A Tap) and by hosting, local establishments get to show off to locals and visitors and introduce them to new area favorites. The event also supports other local businesses, including local transportation provider Black Diamond Limousine, which operates a bus loop attendees can jump on and off to get from spot to spot safely. Meanwhile, ticket sales help support Beat the Bitter’s other free winter programming aimed at kids and families, including Fire & Ice, scheduled for Jan. 28, and North Liberty Lights, a nightly display scheduled through February.

The annual Snuggie Crawl is a win for local businesses, a win for families and a win for adults with cabin fever. And in a year when it seems impossible to get kids back to school for a full week, the crawl is a great excuse for parents to get a night out, because no matter the weather, the crawl brings folks out for a great time at local restaurants, including their patios and fire pits.

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