Revellers get started early at the 2011 Grafton Santa Crawl at the Crown Hotel.
Revellers get started early at the 2011 Grafton Santa Crawl at the Crown Hotel. Lynne Mowbray

Sea of Santas

WITH 965 participants, the 2011 Grafton Santa Crawl was most likely the largest on record and though the figures have not yet been finalised, more than $10,000 will go to St Vincent de Paul thanks to Grafton's sense of fun and revelry.

On top of this, Grafton police reported no incidents of any concern, proving that large crowds can pub crawl, drink responsibly, play and dance without the proverbial idiot factor ruining it for everyone else.

Organiser Angus McKimm said he didn't witness an argument, let alone a fight, of any kind at the event, the seventh he and his friends have organised.

"I think it's the dress-up thing that kind of gives it that good will," Mr McKimm said.

"It's kind of like a Halloween vibe ... you've got the ladies looking red-hot and the gents dressed up, it lends itself to a feel-good atmosphere."

He thanked the Clarence River Jockey Club who sponsored the "outstanding" DJ and MC entertainment at the Grafton Racecourse, as well as the city pubs who helped finance stubby holders and T-shirts which helped with fundraising efforts.

Asked if he had considered extending his pub crawl repertoire (surely there needs to be an Easter Bunny Crawl), Mr McKimm said he would only commit to one per year.

"These days it takes me a year to get over a pub crawl," he said yesterday. "I reckon there'd be a few out there hurting today."

He praised the DJs who played for generously low fees with local Zeb Dougherty (Skinny Z) and headliner Charlie Hustle standouts.

He also thanked vocalist Big Easy, MC B-grade, Noy and the main entertainment co-ordinator Sinka.

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