Lake Geneva Jaycees plan annual pub and restaurant crawl | Local News

A weekend of food and drink can be enjoyed while helping local veterans.

Representatives of the Lake Geneva Jaycees plan to hold their third annual Pub & Grub Crawl, May 13-15, in the Lake Geneva region. The event will feature 15 participating bars and restaurants offering food and drink specials to those participating in the Pub & Grub Crawl.

As part of the event, attendees purchase a wristband that they can use to purchase specialty menu items and receive discounts at participating businesses.

Proceeds from this year’s Pub and Chow Crawl will be donated to the Walworth County Veterans Services Office.

About 5,000 people attended the event last year.

Members of the Lake Geneva Jaycees announced their plans for the event at the January 10 Lake Geneva Tourism Commission meeting.

Nick Ponsonby, Executive Vice President of Lake Geneva Jaycees, said this year’s event will feature a “main hub” location where people can pre-register and check-in to participate in the Pub & Grub Crawl.

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“They will have a base point where they can go to events.” said Ponsonby. “Our attendees – our restaurants and bars – can make it easy for them to attend and run semi-organized tours around the city.”

Lake Geneva Jaycees board member Stephen Schroeder said a “welcome event” will be held on May 13 to encourage more people from out of town to attend.

“This will give every attendee the opportunity to pick up a hotel room on Friday and hopefully stay for the rest of the weekend,” Schroeder said. “It’s an added attraction. We will have food and drinks, and we will also have a band to liven up and get the party started and show the hospitality of Lake Geneva.

Members of the Tourism Commission unanimously approved a $15,000 grant to the Lake Geneva Jaycees to help them publicize and market the event. The group originally applied for a $20,000 grant.

Alderman Richard Hedlund, who is also a member of the tourism commission, said that while he was in favor of the event, he did not think the group should receive a $20,000 grant while the tourism commission tourism gave them $10,000 last year.

Hedlund said the Jaycees also plan to use some of the grant money to produce T-shirts, wristbands, mugs, koozies and other promotional items. He said he doesn’t think these items will help attract people to Lake Geneva.

“You’re asking for $20,000, because you want the tourism commission to give souvenirs to other people,” Hedlund said. “I don’t think it really promotes downtown and puts heads in beds.”

Stephanie Klett, President and CEO of VISIT Lake Geneva, said she believes these types of items will help promote the event and the city of Lake Geneva. She said the Pub & Grub Crawl attracts many people to Lake Geneva every year.

“I take a different view on things like t-shirts and mugs because when you brand a domain anyway you can and brand your product, that’s important,” Klett said. “So I’m excited about their plan. I think they will take it to the next level.

Schroeder said they plan to advertise the event in the Lake Geneva area and around 100 miles from the Lake Geneva area. He said about 71% of people who attended the event last year were from Illinois. He said people coming from out of state will most likely stay at a hotel.

“These people are driving too far not to get a hotel room,” Schroeder said. “We want people here for the weekend. This is not a one day pub crawl. It’s a three-day pub crawl.

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