Downtown Berkeley was awash in sun this Valentine’s Day. Couples in shorts and sandals strolled on Shattuck’s sidewalk, holding hands and sipping iced coffee. The mood was lively: A solo drummer, sweat pouring down his face, tapped a kicky beat while a street performer improvised a break dance. Beside the two artists was a lone booth with a few scraggly, heart-shaped balloons drifting in the air.
It was only one in the afternoon and sunny as the fourth of July, but CupidCon’s scavenger hunt and bar crawl was already under way.
Teams lined up at the booth and signed in as early as noon. A few of the participants showed up in costume: Team Lovebug wore an ensemble uniform of bright red tutus and bouncy, heart-shaped antennae headbands. After signing in, the teams quickly dispersed to the eleven bars and restaurants offering special, “Cupid-themed” drinks.
You might be wondering: Who gets drunk while the sun is still out? As it turns out, the same people who refer to themselves as “Team Day Drunk.”
The bar crawlers trekked the length of Downtown Berkeley on a mission: to take pictures at all of the scavenger hunt locations they were assigned. A few of the teams drew stares as they leapt into the air in front of Sliver and sniffed the red tulips at Revival Bar and Kitchen. Luckily, alcohol lowers people’s inhibitions and they quickly overcame their embarrassment.
After a full afternoon of imbibing cocktails with names like “Bleeding Heart Daiquiri” and “True Love Sangria,” the tipsy teams reconvened at BUILD Pizzeria’s bar to tally their pictures and receive gift certificate prizes. Most of the teams were not in costume, but could be identified by the pink wristbands they wore, wristbands that alerted bartenders, “I’m a day drinker with a mighty thirst for a pink, garnished cocktail with a punny name.”
By 5 p.m., the joint scavenger hunt and bar crawl finally came to an end. The sun had not even set, and yet the bar crawlers, armpit sweat and all, had visited at least five bars apiece and drank enough Valentine’s Day drinks for their urine to run pink. The winner of the costume contest received a Yelp goodie bag while the rest of the teams either walked home, exhausted, or shrugged their shoulders, clinked their glasses and prepared for the night portion of festivities.