Wollongong's SantaFest Pub Crawl for Charity is featured in Lonely Planet and a new list ranking the eight best cities in the world for bar crawls.
Event founder Neil Webster said Wollongong's annual pub crawl is the only one from Australia ranked among cities such as New York, London, Glasgow and Tokyo.
In the featured article Offbeat Boozing: 8 of the best cities for bar crawls Wollongong featured second on the list after Belgium's largest student town Leuven which was recognised for having the longest bar crawl in the world.
Lonely Planet described Wollongong as a laid back city south of Sydney that was hard to spell after a few bevvies but boasted dozens of flawless beaches.
"This town embodies a mellow coastal life and, though small in stature, is home to a spirited bar scene that could rival Australia's bigger, brassier cities. In a surprising twist, it is also home to the world's longest-running Santa Claus Pub Crawl. What started as a couple of mates trying to raise some Christmas cheer has ballooned into the huge, all-day charity event known today as SantaFest, with free shuttle buses between pubs, movie screenings and carol concerts".
The latest edition of Lonely Planet encourages bar crawl lovers around the world to come to Wollongong on December 14 and be among an estimated 11,000 people who are set to smash the $153,000 raised for charity in 2018 when 22 venues took part.
Mr Webster said Lonely Planet called him a week ago to tell him they were including the Wollongong event which stood out for its notoriety around the world. He was asked to send some photos before it was released on Thursday.
"I am super happy. We have always been known as being one of the worlds best pub crawls. To have it confirmed again is a really satisfying honour. I love they refer to the fact Wollongong has this metropolitan coastal lifestyle just outside Sydney".
Mr Webster said all the other events on the list were traditional pub crawls done as walking events. He said Lonely Planet was impressed with the fact Wollongong has free shuttle buses, a sunset cinema and a carols event the day after on the Sunday.
"It is really great to have this accolade. It reaffirms the fact that what we do in Wollongong does stand out and the world is taking notice," he said.
SantaFest - Pub Crawl started 26 years ago and was previously known as 'The Santa Claus Pub Crawl. 2019 is the first year the whole event officially takes on the new branding.
Tickets sales for the 2019 SantaFest opened on October 1. All money raised will go to children and disability based charities.
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- Alcohol related violence victim and Santa Claus Pub Crawl founder Neil Webster is promoting responsible drinking while raising money for the Salvos
- All the fun of Wollongong's Santa Pub Crawl 2018 - in photos
- For years Neil Webster did not use his own name to promote the annual charity pub crawl he was just known as Santa and has now been awarded a Paul Harris Fellow
- Illawarra takes swing at drunken violence
- Celebrating two decades of Santa Claus Pub Crawl: flashback photos
- The Furphy Bar a new addition to the Santa Claus Pub Crawl 2018
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