Ed Adkins is the organizer of five Reno bar crawls. The Superhero Crawl is this Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and he has added the Arch Rivals 5K Race at 9 a.m. this year, too.
So you organize bar crawls?
A bunch. I do the Zombie Crawl, the Superhero Crawl which is coming up. We just started a Leprechaun Crawl last St. Patrick's Day. And then I do a Valentine's Vampire Crawl, and then I just took over the Pirate Crawl. I've been adding these 5Ks this year. The first one is going to be the day of the Superhero Crawl, but we're going to add another one to the Zombie and to the one in February when we do the Valentine's Vampire. This year we're going to change it to the Valentine's Pajama Crawl.
How did you start doing this?
My birthday is in October, and I like to celebrate it. I had been thinking that I really wanted to do a bar crawl with my friends, and then I saw that Halloween was going to be on a Friday [in 2008]. And I was like, “Oh man. We should do a Halloween-themed bar crawl.” And I love zombies, so I just was like Zombie Crawl … and we had 200 people show up. … People really enjoyed it.
So are the 5Ks to draw in more people?
We wanted more opportunity to showcase how quirky and fun Reno is. These events work because of the people. It's because we have a really unique culture here. People love to get goofy here, and we're not pretentious. It's really easy for people to put on something funny and go out and have a blast. … The crawls are something that people who really enjoy the nightlife get involved in, but for the under 21 crowd and for the folks that don't focus so much on nightlife, we were like, what else can we do? … So I thought we should try it [5K runs] out. I asked around, and the response I love because it's emotional. Everybody just immediately goes, “Yes!”
Where does the funding for all this come from?
Um, me? They've evolved, so we've tried to put it back into what we're doing. I basically just scrape together everything I can, and it works out. I mean, there have been years where it's come down to the wire where we almost didn't get cups because it was down to the last hour that we could order them, and I had no idea how to pay for it. I've done a lot of pacing, and I've lost a lot of hair. But it has always worked out so far.
We've got consistent support from Junkee because they're incredible people, and they're super supportive of their community. I would not be where I am without Jessica and Troy Schneider….But sponsorships outside of that, I never really have time to go for them. The sponsorships I've had in the past mostly came to me, but it's got to match the folks that come to the crawls. … You have to really focus on building community and losing money if you want to do this stuff. Someday I hope to have enough time to work with sponsors, but if you let a sponsor dictate what you're doing, then you work for them, and I try to do this for the people who are coming out. I come out for these crawls. I party at these crawls. I have a blast. And so I'm here thinking about what would make me happy and how would I have fun, and most sponsors who approach you don't. Some of them can be anti-throwing-a-good-party, so I'd much rather not get their money and focus on throwing a good party.