When I first heard that the forecast called for heavy rain two Saturdays ago, I had serious doubts about participating in this year’s SantaCon. However, despite the imminent threat, I once again donned my VerdElf® suit and joined the red tide. This was my third SantaCon in LA and by far my favorite, perhaps because more of my friends joined this year than in previous years, but I had so much fun that I was actually a bit sad when it was all over. Below are a few excerpts from my SantaCon journal. For a consolidated look at this year’s event, visit the official site here.
11:30 AM: Met Greg (a.k.a Thomas Refferson) at a bus stop in Silver Lake. We took the #4 bus to the Santa Monica/Vermont Red Line station, hopped the train to Union Station, then transferred to the Gold Line. Until we reached Union Station, we were the only two SantaCon revelers in sight. However, despite a few strange looks, we made it to the meeting point without ridicule or incident.
11:50 AM: As we made our way to the next boarding platform, we discovered our first small contingent of SantaCon attendees at Union Station. Immediately relieved to see our own kind, we all exchanged a few obligatory ho ho hos, dispensed with introductions, which goes something like, “Hi Santa, nice to meet you. This is Santa. Hi Santa,” then promptly headed off to our next stop, the Chinatown Metro Station.
12:00 PM: About 10 of us arrived at the Chinatown Metro Station, the official SantaCon meeting point. From high atop the train platform we could see only a few red and white suited people scattered about. I began to worry that the rain had drastically affected the turn out. However, a few moments later we spotted a thick procession of Santas heading our way. Cheer commences.
12:20 PM: Scores of Santas line up to buy Metro day passes and we are told by a shadowy figure to board the Gold Line train east to Mariachi Square.
12:50 PM: Santa somewhat aimlessly mills about Mariachi Square. There are ponies and a brief ceremony where awards for “Best Santa” are randomly doled out. The clouds part and the sun shines on us, if only for a moment. A female Santa vomits in a nearby trash can.
1:30 PM: The red tide returns to the Metro station, continuing east to Indiana and El Mercadito. Santa begins to get restless and thirsty.
1:45 PM: A sea of Santas descend on El Tarasco for dueling mariachi bands, food and much drink. A conga line ensues.
3:00 PM: A shadowy figure alerts Santa to pay his tab. As the red tide spills onto the street, we are assaulted by protesting clowns and bursts of poisonous silly string.
3:30 PM: The staff at Trax Bar in Union Station, while unprepared, handle the onslaught of thirsty Santas with ease. The clowns have followed us here. No one can be trusted.
4:20 PM: Santa’s attempt to join the Messiah Sing-Along at The Walt Disney Concert Hall is met with disgrace. We are told to leave. Santa marches on to Pershing Square for ice skating and funnel cake.
5:02 PM: Pershing Square. The rain has returned. Some Santas ice skate, some take cover. In an effort to lift Santa’s spirits, VerdElf® and “Creepy Billy Joel” Santa are asked by a shadowy figure to help deliver 25 pizzas to the next location. We comply.
5:30 PM: Santa takes over the Down and Out bar. The pizzas are distributed to hungry Santas. The drinks are flowing. The DJ is good. At last, it seems there is peace on earth.
7:00 PM: Santa heads off to karaoke at Oiwake in Little Tokyo. However, drinking since noon has taken its toll on VerdElf®, who ducks out early, eventually left to walk down Sunset Blvd. alone on a Saturday night, in full elf dress.