CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Clowns. Most people either love them or hate them, but after reports surfaced last month of creepy clowns popping up behind homes in South Carolina trying to lure children, many now fear them.

But that fear isn’t stopping the 7th Annual Clown Crawl from taking to the streets of Plaza Midwood this Saturday.

“We’re not out here to intimidate you, we’re out here for good,” said the crawl’s founder and organizer Martin Barry.

The crawl starts at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Common Market and continues throughout the night with several stops at nearby bars. Barry says anywhere from 30 to 50 people participate and most all are decked out in full costume, including face paint.

But it’s not just clowning around that goes on. Barry says every year the crawl collects goods for a local charity.

“We’re gathering coats, blankets-- warm stuff for the homeless people. Sometimes we do school supplies, this year it’s all about keeping people warm,” he said.

Barry says the clown-crawl is free, he just asks that you donate a winter item. Blake Barnes, who owns Common Market, says he offers up his establishment as the starting location because he believes in Barry’s cause.

“The main thing I’ve always liked about what Martin does is everything they collect goes directly to the charity,” said Barnes.

Barnes says he’s happy to do it, even if the sight of clowns roaming his restaurant may not appeal to everyone.

“My thing is, you live in a funky neighborhood and this is part of it right here,” said Barnes.

Barry says the tentative schedule for the crawl is as follows:
4 p.m. - Common Market for collection of donations and makeup
7 p.m. - Dish to fuel up with some good food
8:30 p.m. - Thomas Street Tavern
9:30 p.m. - The Diamond
10:30 p.m. - Snug Harbor
11:30 p.m. - Pint Central
12:30 p.m. - Thirsty Beaver