Lack of permit causes pub crawl controversy

The Oshkosh Pub Crawl falls under controversy with lack of special event permit.
The Oshkosh Pub Crawl falls under controversy with lack of special event permit.

OSHKOSH- Hundreds of people will be out in Oshkosh this weekend for a semi-annual pub crawl.

But unlike past crawls, this time the event could cost bar owners.

City officials say the party has gotten out of hand before.

And they plan on having extra officers, to make sure it doesn't

But who should pay for that additional security?

“We don't have anybody directly that we can make responsible for the event,” said Deputy Mayor Steve Herman.

Saturday night, Main Street will be busy with the Oshkosh Pub Crawl.

But the city said pints will be served without the appropriate permit.

"There is a gentleman by the name of Mr. Kubiak, who has organized it in the past and has taken out a special event permit. This year he's chosen not to do that, but has chosen to promote the event through his Facebook and his web site, Oshkosh Pub Crawl LLC,” said Herman.

Herman says extra police will be patrolling. But that security comes at a cost, one that is usually passed on to the permit holder.

Last October, that totaled more than 5500 dollars, which Kubiak paid.

I spoke to the pub crawl organizer Joe Kubiak over the phone. He would not tell us anything about why he didn't apply for a permit. He also would not go on camera.

Without Kubiak's permit, the fees will be divided among participating bars.

“Why are these bars being charged a fee?” FOX 11’s Kelly Schlicht asked Herman.

“Because we have the right under law that if they are profiting from a special event over and above a normal situation, we have the right for extra services provided by the city to charge back to the owner,” said Herman.

Herman says police will track where the largest groups of people are moving to determine which bars will be charged.

But some taverns, like St. Thomas Bar says they shouldn't have to pay.

“It should be someone else's responsibility like it's not fair to the bars,” said Crystal Kapral, a bartender at St. Thomas Bar.

“But if the bars are kind of playing host to the event, isn't it their responsibility?” FOX 11’s Kelly Schlicht asked.

"Well, umm, it's not like, we're not participating in it, so it's not like we're hosting it,” said Kapral.

Bars say despite the possible fee, they won't turn away bar crawl revelers' business.Other Oshkosh bar owners didn't want to go on camera. But they said they hoped a deal could still be reached with the city.