A few hundred Santas showed up on the National Mall Saturday for Santarchy DC. They were not working hard in their workshops getting ready for Christmas. They were out having a little Christmas cheer. Our photographer reported that some had probably had consumed a lot of Christmas cheer.
“Why did you all send me out to shoot a lot of drunk Santas?” she asked.
There were traditional Santas, and then there were the edgier interpretations. Some of the Santas were just plain out there.
One was dressed as a Santa devil with a sign hanging around his neck that said, “I am a bad speller.” Could it be, we don't know, Satan?!
Well isn't that special.
There was a Santa in dreadlocks and a lot of equal opportunity female Santas.
There were folks dressed as Christmas presents, big Christmas animals, one weird-looking tin soldier. And then there was someone wearing a smiling Michelle Obama mask sporting a winter fur hat.
But it looked like they were having fun. They gave out candy to children, rode the merry-go-round on the Mall and we suspect ran up big bar bills in the establishments near the Smithsonian.
Santarchy, which goes on in dozens of cities around the world, has become quite a phenomenon. The Santarchy in Afghanistan this year is under heavy security.
Santarchy started when a bunch of fun folks got together in 1994 for a goof. They dressed up in cheap Santa suits and went to downtown San Francisco for a night of “Kringle Kaos.”
D.C.'s Santarchy participants were strictly advised online to “be nice to the Smithsonian security guards — they have always been nice to us.” They were also instructed to try not to throw up on D.C.'s sidewalks and to be kind to children, though to “abuse” their parents was fair game.
The D.C. Santarchy website claims there are tens of thousands of participating Santas around the world. Why, our photographer might ask?
“It is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious, and nonsensical celebration of holidays cheer, goodwill, and fun,” the site said.