Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. - Get into celebration shape for Fat Tuesday with a festive tour of Lake of the Ozarks bars and restaurants on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the 11th Annual Lake of the Ozarks Mardi Gras Pub Crawl.
"Last year, over 5,700 people attended the Pub Crawl and it's getting more popular every year," said Pub Crawl coordinator Jeff Carroll. "In fact, most of the people who attend the Pub Crawl have turned it into a weekend getaway with shopping and sightseeing and when the weather is nice some of them will get in a round of golf or they get out onto the Lake. There's just a lot to do at the Lake, so it's best to stay a few days and experience as much as you can. I think the word is spreading that the Lake is a beautiful place to visit year around."
This year, a fleet of 22 buses is scheduled to transport Mardi Gras-themed revelers on a safe and fun Pub Crawl to more than 20 Lake-area restaurants and bars. Buses begin departing from participating hotels, motels and resorts at 3 p.m. and bar/restaurant buses will operate from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Throughout the celebration, 20 of the buses will complete continuous circuits of the bars and restaurants on the Pub Crawl and will make numerous stops at each venue in order to accommodate the shuttle riders. Two express buses will make regular stops at only three specific Pub Crawl locations. According to Carroll, a uniformed security guard will be on each of the buses to ensure that partygoers have a safe and enjoyable evening.
To ride the buses, participants must purchase a $5 Mardi Gras Pub Crawl wristband, which includes entry into all participating bars and restaurants, bus transportation between Pub Crawl venues and drop off/pick up at participating hotels and motels. A wristband can be purchased either in advance or on the night of the event at all participating Pub Crawl locations.
"The wristbands are a real bargain," said Carroll. "For just five bucks, you don't have to pay a cover charge at any of the participating Pub Crawl bars. You don't have to drive and you don't have to worry about parking at each place. So for anyone looking for a fun night out at the Lake, it's a no-brainer."
Entertainment is varied at the Mardi Gras Pub Crawl's featured nightspots with options ranging from live music (blues, rock and country) to DJs and karaoke. Participating restaurants cover an assortment of menu choices, including Ozark-style barbeque, Chicago-style pizza, Mexican cuisine, prime rib, seafood and much more. And, of course, the shuttle riders will have the opportunity to collect Mardi Gras beads and other souvenirs along the route.
"Our Pub Crawl is just a safe way to go out and have a great time around the Lake of the Ozarks," said Carroll. "Enjoy some outstanding live entertainment and experience the delicious food we have to offer. And the great thing is, you can leave your keys at the hotel or at home and we'll chauffeur you around the area to the best bars and the best restaurants."
Bus riders must be 21 years of age and have a valid ID. Riders are asked to drink responsibly. No alcohol is allowed on the buses and no alcohol can be carried into or out of any establishments on the tour. Buses will only make scheduled stops on the Pub Crawl route.
For a complete schedule of entertainment and for an up-to-date listing of hotels, motels, resorts, bars and restaurants participating in the Pub Crawl, visit LakePubCrawl.com. If you need additional information, please call the Lake of the Ozark Convention & Visitor Bureau at 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) or visit the CVB's website at FunLake.com.