When most of us hear the phrase “senior walk,” it conjures up fuzzy images of cap and gown-wearing leaders of the future walking across the stage to help make America brighter.
But there is another senior walk, this one evoking blurry images and involving lots of staggering.
The annual Senior Walk, taking place this year on May 13, is a time when the seniors celebrate their four years of hard work by enjoying drink specials at just about every bar in town. This full day event involves lots of walking/being carried around on someone’s shoulders. Either way, it’s a good idea to bring some comfortable shoes.
This traditional day of drinking kicks off bright and early with mimosas on the riverfront at Kelleher’s. This year they will open at 7 a.m. and offer drink specials on mimosas, screw drivers and bloody marys. They will also serve their traditional breakfast sandwich, appropriately named The Hangover. Although at this hour, most of the participants will still be on their best behavior.
“We get to see everyone at their most sane time,” said general manager of Kelleher’s Billy Blasek.
Students are encouraged to leave their vehicles in Kelleher’s parking lot throughout the day. In an attempt to discourage drinking and driving, no vehicles will be towed that day.
After their stop at Kelleher’s, seniors will move down to Old Chicago for additional drink specials. By then, the group tends to get a bit more rowdy. According to general manager Wade Cox, last year his silverware was mysteriously stolen and attached to the cars in the parking lot.
After the riverfront antics, the next stop is Downtown, where more cheap drinks are found.
Sully’s usually proves to be a crowd favorite with its low-key atmosphere. As the seniors wind their way through the downtown area, they may find themselves a bit famished from the intense marathon. But not to worry. Richard’s Downtown has many college-friendly options, including cheese fries and horseshoes.
As beer and pizza are American staples, Senior Walk would not be complete without a stop at Hoops, Peoria’s go-to location for pizza that tastes even better when it is washed down with cold beer.
For the die-hard senior walkers who want to go the extra mile (literally), the Farmington Road bars have much to offer. The popular dance club Crusens will be offering numerous drink specials as well as the best DJs in town to spice up the evening.
As the fun festivities come to a close, many students head to Jimmy’s for the last leg to enjoy their free popcorn.
While Senior Walk is obviously focused primarily on drinking, there are other, more meaningful messages as well.
The general manager of Kelleher’s said he enjoys watching all of the groups come in to celebrate their achievements. The groups each wear different T-shirts to symbolize their friend circles over the past four years, and there is an overwhelming sense of camaraderie and belonging.
So here’s to this year’s Senior Walk. May you carry with you your memories, booze and drunken friends not just on this day, but for the rest of your life.