Reno’s sixth annual Superhero Crawl, when folks dress like superheroes and walk from bar to bar, will be on Saturday, July 14. A percentage of profits will benefit the children’s educational camp charity Future Kind. For more information, visit www.superherocrawl.com. Matthew Goedert is the founder of the Superhero Crawl.
So this is the sixth year. Take me back to the first year and how it got started.
Well, I run the Reno Santa Crawl, and there was a lot of people asking to do another crawl. This was before Reno became inundated with crawls. … The reason the Santa Crawl is great is because it sort of brings back your inner child and how much you loved Christmas, and for me, superheroes sort of encompass this magical period in my life where I was able to throw on a towel, wrap it around my neck, pull out this Pez dispenser, which I believed was magic, because it flipped out those little candies and gave me superhero powers, and I thought I could fly. And I thought, wow, I bet people would really enjoy dressing up as their childhood heroes or make believe. …
What superheroes have you gone as?
Well, the first year, my friend convinced me to be part of Ace and Gary, which is the Ambiguously Gay Duo, which I had no clue what that was. He said, you could be Ace or Gary, whichever one you want, and I was like, what?
At the time, you didn’t know that was the Ambiguously Gay Duo?
I agreed to be his sidekick. I had no clue! All I knew was he said it was on Saturday Night Live, and it was a spoof. When I figured it out, I was like, oh whatever. I’m OK with that. [Laughs.] But I remember thinking he’d pulled one over on me. [Another year] I went as the Greatest American Hero. That costume was strange in the sense … where people just had no clue who that was at all.
Is there something about Reno that makes it ideal for something like this?
It’s a couple of things. For one, I’m a fourth generation Nevadan. I grew up in Reno. I went to Jesse Beck Elementary School and Reno High. I graduated from the University of Nevada. A lot of my extended family still lives there, so I go up and visit. I think Reno’s great, and I’ll always consider—no matter where I’m living—for Reno to be home. … I originally started Santa Crawl just trying to blow off steam. Santa Crawl is 100 percent charity. When I ran the Superhero Crawl, all of it went to charity. Ed [Adkins] gives a big portion of it to charity. … And I just didn’t have the time to give enough focus to my job and to the Superhero Crawl and keep the Santa Crawl continuing, so I decided, just for my own sanity, I needed someone to help me out. Ed was doing the other crawls. And we talk a lot, and we share ideas. … And I said are you interested? And we reached an agreement where at least 30 percent of whatever they take in goes to charity, and he said, yeah. That’s our agreement. … Reindeer Games is a 501c3 we put together … and our mandate is that we’re going to help Northern Nevada and local charities. … The Santa Crawl and other crawls provide a huge economic benefit not just for the downtown businesses that need the help. I know a lot of businesses that sort of survive off these events. These are the things that keep their doors open and keep people employed. In addition to that, there are people that travel from out of state to come to these things and fill up the hotel rooms. … Yeah, I grew up there, but Reno provides in downtown Reno a great environment for anybody who wants to go out and have a good time as an adult. There are plenty of opportunities to find great food. There’s tons of entertainment down there. You can watch movies, watch a baseball game, see comedians, a lot of bands. … I live in San Francisco, and I think most people don’t realize how great it is to walk to place to place and not have to drive all the time. Because everywhere else, or a lot of places, you’re driving from bar to bar if you want to go to two bars. Reno provides the opportunity where people can have a great time and never drink and drive.