Bar Hopping With Mike the Mailman
You read that right. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard about it, either.
As it turns out, Mike Herr, better known to the Penn State community as Mike the Mailman, has been running his own tour for over two decades. This isn’t just any bar tour though — this is the “Cheers First Class Tour.” Mike is calling this year’s event the 41st annual, “but it’s not really the 41st annual,” according to the campus celebrity. “It’s my tour, so I can make it whatever I want. The year before was the 19th annual.” Sounds good to us, Mike!
It all started with four guys and a mailman in the early ‘90s. He generously gave them postal shirts and shorts to dress up as Cliff Claven, the postal worker featured on the hit American TV show, as they bar hopped downtown. When they arrived at the Gingerbread Man, the bar graciously turned on “Cheers” to keep with the theme. Mike even says one man met his future wife on the very first “Cheers First Class Tour.”
As the years progressed, more and more students would join Mike on his annual tour through town. Now, he says, dozens of faculty and staff tend to join in the fun. Last year, even a 74-year-old State College couple tagged along on the tour.
“The old people mesh with the younger people, and it’s just fun,” he said.
Mike insists it’s not necessary to drink on the tour if you don’t want to as there will be plenty of contests and giveaways to promote the group interaction at each stop. (And out of respect for this tradition, I would hope no one would treat this as a tour to get sloppy.)
This year, the tour falls on May 2nd, the Thursday of finals week. It used to be held during Senior Week…thanks G-Span.
It’s rather simple to sign up. Go to the University Park Post Office and ask to sign up for the tour. In a couple weeks, you’ll get an email about a shirt. Reply to the email, and bring in your shirt money. In May you come back to pick up your shirt and your tour itinerary.
Follow those simple steps and you’re all set for the “41st Annual Cheers First Class Tour,” and bar hop with Mike the Mailman.
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