Coffee Crawl returns to Downtown Springfield

It might not be winter, but Mrs. Claus is still hard at work.

For the second time, Mrs. Claus is hosting a Coffee Crawl through Downtown Springfield to raise funds for the Clark County Literacy Coalition.

"It's an open house format, not a scheduled event," says David Smiddy, executive director of Warder Literacy Center. "People can go at their leisure from one stop to another starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m."

Tickets can be purchased for $30 online here for the Saturday, May 20, crawl. Participants will show their eTicket at Warder Literacy Center, 137 East High Street, to get a wristband. 

They'll also receive a program book that will highlight each of the program vendors, and includes a map and details about each of the sites that are stops along the way. 

Each vendor will highlight their signature or best coffee, which could be a traditional hot coffee, a summer blend, a cold brew or maybe even a sweet tea instead of coffee, Smiddy says. 

There will also be some kind of treat or snack at each stop, as well as a docent to share details about each site, he says. 

The idea for the coffee crawl first came after Smiddy had attended the Columbus Coffee Festival for a few years. He says he thought a similar idea would be great for Springfield, but he wanted to find a way to get it outdoors in order to highlight some of the historically significant locations in town.

The literacy coalition used to have a 5K as an annual fundraiser, but as the popularity of these races as fundraising events grew, it started to get lost in the shuffle, Smiddy says. 

He hopes the Coffee Crawl will become the new signature fundraiser for the coalition, and he says it's great because of the way coffee, history and literacy connect. 

"If we can't read, we can't even read plaques around town to know our own history," Smiddy says. "And while it's literacy-based, people like to drink good coffee while they read. They'll go to a coffee place and sit and read a book, so reading and coffee really do fit together in our culture."

The first Coffee Crawl was in the winter and was a success, he says. The plan is to host the event twice a year - during colder weather and warmer weather - moving forward. 

All proceeds from the event support the literacy coalition, which serves more than 200 people per month on a regular basis, Smiddy says. 
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Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.