What is 12BoC

New to 12BoC?

For those of you new to the 12BoC, the event originated in 2004 and has grown to be the largest holiday crawl in Minnesota. Thanks to all of you we have raised over $115,000 for the Children's Hospitals of the Twin Cities. To join simply sign up for a shirt or wristband, put on your most festive holiday attire, and show up downtown on December 6th and join in the tradition that is the Twin Cities 12 Bars of Christmas (12BoC). 12BoC runs from 6PM to bar close.

What is 12BoC?

12BoC or 12 Bars of Christmas is the largest holiday pub crawl in the Twin Cities. While the imitators are many, none can compete with the original 12BoC.

How did 12BoC start?

The idea originated at Houlihan’s in Eagan during a two-for-one happy hour in the fall of 2004.  The initial goal was to get 50 of our friends to do a pub crawl downtown….you know the rest.  On December 6, 2019, we will celebrate 16 years of 12BoC.

How does it work?

Historically (like 10 years ago), the event was a traditional pub crawl where all participants stumbled from one bar to the next in unison.  It is kind of hard to get our crowd in a single bar, so now it is a free for all event.  Any bar, any order, at any time.  Confused?  Wait till you get to bar 8.  Luckily for you, all the bars are within walking distance.  12BoC officially starts at 6PM but you can show up whenever you like.

Who comes?

The better question is, “who doesn’t come?”

When is 12BoC?

12BoC is ALWAYS the first Friday in December. This year happens to fall on December 6, 2019. We give a one finger salute to inclement weather and push forward with the event.

What are the 12 bars?

Actually, the event has gotten too big for 12 Bars.  We will likely have a few more than 12 bars on the list this year.  The bars have changed over the years as establishments have come and gone.   All the bars selected for the event are within walking distance of 1st Avenue near the Target Center in Minneapolis.  We do feel obligated to give a shout out to Glueks and Lyon's Pub – the only bars that have survived all 14 previous crawls.  Participating bars will be announced in November.

Do I have to be 21? 

Yeah.  Boom.

What is the deal with the shirt?

They are long sleeve t-shirts with lots of creative screen printing which encourages overboard Sharpie use. Holiday attire is also HIGHLY encouraged. You will need either a shirt or wristband in order to access the event and get access to great food, drink and cover specials all night long.

What color is the shirt and what does the logo look like?

If you asked this question, you must have been the kid that snooped in the attic for your Christmas presents when you were 8.

What does the shirt get me?

Confidence.  Confidence to go up to that guy/gal that you wouldn’t normally talk to and strike up the following conversation, “Nice shirt.”  If that doesn’t cut it, you will also get great drink specials, free cover at all the bars and food specials at participating bars.  Entertainment in the form of games and live music will be available at some of the bars.  You must order your shirt at and pick it up at one of the t-shirt happy hours prior to the event.

When & Where are the t-shirt pick-up happy hours?

The happy hours typically begin the week before Thanksgiving and the locations will be at various bars across the Twin Cities – you can expect The Pourhouse, Billy’s on Grand, and Park Tavern to be among the pick-up locations.  Dates and times are announced in November.

Is there a charity involved?

You bet.  The Childrens Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota.   We are proud to announce that over $100,000 has been donated to the Childrens Hospital since 2007.  In addition, as a result of the laptops and iPads donated in 2012, 12BoC was invited to and recognized at the grand opening of the St. Paul Children’s Hospital Geek Squad.

Is this some kind of scam?  I mean, organized drinking with thousands of my closest friends that benefits kids.  Where is the catch?

There isn’t one….it is a Christmas miracle.

How do I sign up?

Check back in October for an option to register for shirts.  Then just wait for the t-shirt pick up happy hours.  Once you have your shirt, show up downtown on December 6th for the 16th annual 12BoC party!

If you don't get your hands on one of the iconic 12BoC shirts, you can also get a wristband.  Wristbands provide the same specials and entertainment as the shirt.  Simply dress in your most festive attire along with the 12BoC wristband and enjoy the greatest night of the year!