It’s been a wild ride!
1980s: In the early 80s Boulderites started to party spontaneously on Pearl St, trying to outdo each other with costumes and have fun each Halloween by pub crawling up and down the mall. The name “mall crawl” caught on and the event grew. Check the pics!
In 1988 the crowd grew to nearly 30,000. In 1989, the crowd, estimated at 40,000, was the largest ever, and people came in from surrounding communities. The police arrested at least 37 people for everything from damaging traffic signals and trees to brawling and breaking a police car window. By 1991, city officials and the police had had enough and they shut it down.
2009: Facebook was new and a couple local residents started using social media to bring it back. The local media jumped on it and the word was out. The city officials then threatened the men behind the revival by sending police to their houses with paperwork threatening $40,000 in fines for holding a carnival without a license, which had no merit.
The Boulder ACLU came to their defense stating that the city’s actions were, “…unfounded and unconstitutional, chilling and threatening rights protected by the First, Fifth and 14th amendments to the Constitution.”
Despite the threats, Mall Crawl was back in a big way. It went off amazingly well with a few thousand revelers basking in the glory of Halloween on Pearl. Much fun was had and the City had egg on its face for using intimidation tactics on its own citizens, who had merely suggested that pedestrians go to a pedestrian mall. 2010 was big again and over time Mall Crawl quieted down with the pandemic of 2020 marking a new low. Check out a video from 2009 on YouTube. Here’s a vid from 2010. See pics from multiple years on the Facebook page.
2021: The forces of good are working to make Mall Crawl better than ever. This website was created and Boulder Instagram teamed up with Barstool Buffs to keep the fun times rolling. Mall Crawl forever!