Back to Archives

Santarchy (review!)

A pack of Santas will invade Tacoma for a not-so-silent night

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Ed. note: Matt Driscoll reviewed Santarchy on our blog, Spew.

Finally, anarchy is coming to Tacoma, and it’s wearing a Santa suit. Well, hopefully hundreds of Santa suits. The pan-continental holiday riot known as Santarchy could easily be denounced as just another excuse to get s***faced — like wedding receptions or a visit to Sea World. In this case, the revelry involves dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of Santa-suited sots marauding about town. Weekly Volcano readers are encouraged to suit up, drink a Red Bull and come out to judge for themselves when the cheer comes to Tacoma Friday, Dec. 14.

Santarchy began some 14 years ago in San Francisco, where a score of shabby Santas brought chaos to town, following a serpentine path through the city’s bars, leaving ruin in their wake. Like all great ideas, it caught on quickly. Twenty years later, anarchist Santas have organized themselves enough to make Santarchy a synchronized global phenomenon. Until this year, Tacomans had to travel to Seattle to join a fairly pedestrian Santa mob. Having experienced Seattle’s pansy-ass version, a brave young woman, who shall be referred here as “Head Santa” to preserve the illusion for children, decided to bring Santarchy to Tacoma.

“I just like to drink and have a good time. And I like to push people’s buttons. So I’m a good candidate,” says Head Santa. “Also, I’m an atheist, and I hate Christmas. So this is as close as I get to celebrating the holiday.”

The Tacoma manifestation will begin at the Swiss Pub and meander from there. The only rules are: wear a Christmas costume (beer-bellied, drunken Jesus strongly encouraged by the author), don’t break the law, and don’t puke on the bus. Oh, and bring a $5 donation to help cover the cost of the bus, sawdust and Febreeze.

“We booked a giant school bus to avoid massive death,” says Head Santa. “We’ll start drinking at the Swiss, and try and keep it loose. It is anarchy after all.”

National Santarchy organizers insist that the phenomenon is not a protest against Christmas or commercialization. Frequently, however, it does produce events that blaspheme against both.

“One year we went to the mall and all danced around a real [mall] Santa,” says serial Santarchist Craig. “There were a lot of confused children.”

Costumes are often embellished — red suits are the standard, but not the law. Craig recalls an Icecapade-style nutcracker that offered walnuts to onlookers. The walnuts were produced from an unknown container in the crotch of the nutcracker’s pants.

“There’s a lot of good stuff that happens,” says Craig.

Santarchy starts around 6 p.m. The bus leaves at 8 p.m. Help anarchy (and Santa) keeps its good name, and don’t drive.

[The Swiss Pub, Friday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m., $5, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma,]

comments powered by Disqus