In previous years I have used this forum to offer support for the Oshkosh Pub Crawl. It has always been my position that the downtown bars are just as entitled (man, do I hate having to use that word in this cultural climate) to benefit from a special event as are the boutique shops and restaurants on North Main Street that benefit from Gallery Walk and the Farmers' Market. It just so happens that those bars sell alcohol--a legal product to both purchase and consume--and that their clientele on the night tends to be young adults--as opposed to "gentrified patrons of the arts" (who are allowed to walk around with their wine on Main Street).
But I cannot offer that support this year. No, I'm not joining city and UW-Oshkosh officials in becoming righteously indignant about how the event "encourages binge drinking" and how it "gives the city a black eye". If you have ever been in the Lambeau Field parking lot or in the Ashwaubenon Stadium District after (or even before) a home game you know that football "encourages binge drinking" as well--yet you don't see anyone calling for the cancellation of Packers games or game day drink specials do you?
What is causing my opposition this year is the refusal of "organizers" to secure and pay for a special event permit from the city. Unlike certain Presidents, Attorney Generals and candidates for Wisconsin AG, I believe in the rule of law--even if you don't agree with the tenets of the law. And the law in Oshkosh requires payment for the city services (extra police) that will be provided for Pub Crawl. And what Joe Kubiak--and others that may be working with him--are attempting to do this year is nothing more than an end run around a law they do not like.
I won't go as far as the Drama Queens on the Common Council last night and claim that Kubiak is "holding the city hostage" (like residents are afraid to come out of their homes Saturday because the Pub Crawlers might transform into flesh-eating zombies unless he is paid 100-BILLION DOLLARS!!) but the man who formed Oshkosh Pub Crawl LLC--and who has informed others trying to make t-shirts and items bearing the "Oshkosh Pub Crawl" name that they will be sued--clearly has taken "ownership of the event". And as the owner, founder or promoter of said event he should either pony up the permit fee or work with the bar owners who also profit to cover the cost--just like every other event (except for Sawdust Days) has done since the law went into place.
Failing to do so will make you look like the immature, irresponsible little brats that those who detest Pub Crawl and who want to destroy it try to make everyone that takes part in it out to be.