Tag Archives: santacon

GTD This Weekend: Shop Local, Local Santas

This weekend: an absurd number of local fairs to get your local shopping on.  Also: Santacon.


  • Artisanal LA and Unique LA tag-team this weekend downtown to bring you a curated mall.  Artisanal LA is for the foodies; Unique LA is for the crafties.  Hit one; better, hit both.  See full details here.  Tickets $6-10 and both downtown at the Cooper Building and California Market Center.
  • It’s almost the same, but not really: the Renegade Craft Fair is sort of like Unique LA, except it’s outdoors, a little smaller (150 vendors to Unique LA’s 300), and offers free admission.  Free.  From 10am to 5pm at the LA State Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring Street.
  • Tired of downtown?  Valley citizens get the Rotary Arts and Crafts Fair in Woodland Hills.  With over 50 artists, you’ll find a variety of home-made ceramics and other artistic-type gifts.  From 10am to 4:30pm at Warner Center Park at the intersection of Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Oxnard St.



  • Santcon.  It’s too late to bum a ride off of one of the sleighs, but show up at Pershing Square at 11am dressed up as St. Nick to join in on the fun anyway.   Or, for additional holiday fun, I suggest you dress up as Rudolph, and see if anyone wants to play any reindeer games.  Maybe you’ll meet the Santa of your dreams.  Fun starts at 11am at Pershing Square.  If anyone asks who sent you, say Santa.
  • Take that can-do attitude of yours and learn how to can and preserve foods for the holidays (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) at the Farmers’ Kitchen, a community kitchen run by SEE-LA, the same non-profit that operates the Hollywood Farmers’ Market.  $75; you must reserve your spot here by 8am on Saturday.  The workshop is from 9am to 1pm at The Farmers’ Kitchen, located at Selma and Vine in Hollywood.
  • The Silver Lake Craft Vintage Market has been going strong all year; Saturday’s will be the last one of 2010.  Consider hitting this flea market up before heading out to one of the craft fairs downtown.  From 10am to 4pm at the Micheltorena Elementary School’s parking lot, 1511 Micheltorena St. at Sunset.
  • If you’re tired of all that shopping, swing by Food 4 Love, a fund- and awareness-raiser for the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the Mentawai Island off of Indonesia in late October.  There will be food trucks, bands, and dancing.  11am to 5pm at the Indonesian Consulate, 3457 Wilshire Blvd.
  • Didn’t grow up in a predominantly Asian community where you origami’d tiny pieces of notebook paper to pass the time during AP Calc?  For you then, the Japanese American National Museum hosts “Fold, Crease, and Crinkle”, a full day of origami workshops and demos.  Your friendly neighborhood Target is sponsoring the event.  Quick, someone origami a bullseye.  11am to 4pm at JANM, 369 E. 1st St. in Little Tokyo
  • Always wanted to go to the Magic Castle, but didn’t know any local magicians to give you an invite?  Go, instead, to Theatre West, where a good group of the Magic Castle’s magicians and mind-fuckers gather to show off their best.  It’s a fundraiser for the theater, so it’s all for a good cause.  $15-20.  The magic (literally) starts at 8pm; there’s also a show at 2pm on Sunday, at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd West in Hollywood.


  • GO TO THE HOLLYWOOD FARMER’S MARKET. This is the only thing you have to do today.  The market is currently in a turf battle with the neighboring LA Film School.  The school wants to secure access to one of its three parking lots on a street where half of the markets’ farmers vend, because it may, or may not, need access to that lot on future Sundays.  Regardless of the “maybe”, the school does own that property and has a legal right to access it.  If the school’s request is granted, vendors on that street will be displaced; if a suitable re-location can’t be found, the market will be severely truncated.  The market is a communal property, one of the best farmers’ markets in the city, much beloved by the shoppers (me) and chefs who object ferociously to the school’s plans.  LA Weekly has an excellent recap of both sides’ arguments here; here’s to hoping the two work out something that is best for everyone, not just the school.  This is where property rights sort of fail all of us.  Tragedy of the commons, what?

A photo of a very Super Santa at last year’s Santacon, courtesy Al Pavangkanan via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

Pros and SantaCons

The Daniel, Courtenay, VerdElf & Cris at SantaCon (photo courtesy of Daniel Hengeveld)
The Daniel, Courtenay, VerdElf® & Cris at SantaCon (photo courtesy of Daniel Hengeveld)

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.

All Aboard! (photo courtesy of Cris Dobbins)
All Aboard! (photo courtesy of Cris Dobbins)

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. Continue reading Pros and SantaCons

LA SantaCon 2009

VerdElf at SantaCon 2008 (Photo courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff and the LA Times)
VerdElf at SantaCon 2008 (Photo courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff and the LA Times)

Details about the annual Santa Conference (SantaCon) is usually unavailable this early in the year and the veracity of any information that does become available is often in question due to Santa’s propensity for pranking. What we do know is this, the annual conference is coordinated by a shadowy figure known only as “Santa” and while he sometimes tolerates elves at his annual gathering,  he will do anything it takes to keep those damn clowns from ruining his jolly good time.

While specific details about SantaCon are never revealed until it is actually happening, I just received some intel regarding this year’s event that may be helpful for those of you who are looking to either participate or avoid it altogether. My sources have informed me that this year’s event will take place on Saturday, December 12.

I am also told that Santa is likely to be traveling on foot instead of bus this year, which means a $5 Metro Day Pass is all you’re going to need to hurl your cheer onto every street corner.

Last year, Santa merged at Echo Park Lake to begin the conference. So far, no one has revealed the exact starting location of this year’s event, but to me downtown seems like an obvious choice. Then, you never really know with Santa.

Ho, ho, ho.

Merry Chrismakwanznukah to all, and to all a good night!

Photo by a href=Whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate, and especially for those of you who don’t celebrate, I’m going to be a sap for a moment and send out a big fat I LOVE YOU GUYS and I hope you spend the next few days having fun.

Be safe & be healthy and have a happy holiday.

Don’t drink & drive, call a cab. Or hail a cab.

Photo by the one & only Pickles.

LA Santacon 2008 is here!

Santa at The Grove by OpusI’m up at 5am with another of my intermittent early-morning allergy attacks, which has afforded me the extreme pleasure of some spare time in which I can communicate with you, dear reader. I figured while I was waiting for the benadryl, xyzal and vitamin-B-complex (which actually helps the most) cocktail to kick in and make my sinuses stop feeling like they’re about to peel themselves off my skull, I might as well transmit a bit of vital information.

Today will surely be a busy day for many people beginning their holiday preparations. Therefore it is with great joy then that I inform you of today’s Santacon, quite possibly our city’s biggest to date, and a spirited event GUARANTEED to get you in the mood for the holidays to be over already. I know nothing of its location or appointed rounds (as the Red Tide does often span the city) because the event is shrouded in secrecy, but for those who’d like to follow along in spirit, I highly suggest you look to…no, not the skies! to Twitter!…where I have it on good authority that many well-known LA twitfolks will be broadcasting their experiences. You can also check my photostream on flickr, where I will be posting horrendously lousy cameraphone photos all day long.

Ho ho ho!

Pic by The Opus from flickr under a creative commons license.

Oh, and to those elves who’ve been fomenting discontent and grumbling about a strike, GIVE IT UP! You strike  EVERY YEAR!!! And you know what happens EVERY YEAR?! Santa smacks you DOWN, bitches! You know why?! Because you’re FOUR FEET TALL!!! Ohhhhhhh DAAAAM! Boo yah!!!

Old Bank District Holiday Party with The Like, Whispertown 2000, Rumspringa, and Your Friend Beer

As if Saturday wasn’t going to be batshit crazy already (sorry, Santacon‘s sleigh passes are sold out), the Old Bank District is partnering with Little Radio for their annual holiday event, which’ll have a beer garden & cocktail bar, a holiday light installation, an art and gift bazaar, tasty specials at the local restaurants and live indie bands curated by the geniuses behind Little Radio, plus a live jazz band in Harlem Place Alley next to Lost Souls Cafe.

Blogdowntown scooped this info first thing but I thought I’d republish it here in case anyone doesn’t check BDT regularly (you should).