Things both naughty and nice were in abundance this past weekend in Scottsdale, including mischievous Santas adorned in bondage gear, impish elves engaging in pranks, and numerous vixens dressed as vampy versions of Mrs. Claus. Such Christmastime characters were a part of the massive and festive menagerie that participated in the annual Santarchy bar crawl that wound its way through Old Town.
See also: Santarchy 2013 in Photos
We joined in the mobile holiday costume party as its throng of attendees -- which featured hundreds of celebratory Santas, as well as walking candy canes, gift-wrapped gals, sexy snowbunnies, mischievous gingerbread men, reindeer wrestlers, and other yuletide-inspired outfits -- made its way through such bars as Dos Gringos, The Firehouse, Shotgun Betty's, and Hi Fi in search of drinks and nighttime revelry.
Every single Santarchy participant sported a costume of some fashion, whether it was the traditional grab of Saint Nicholas or otherwise, many of which were quite creative and inspired. And just like Santa himself, we made a list (and checked it twice) of our list of 10 favorite costumes.
A Christmas Story Tribute
It's a safe bet that the tale of Ralphie Parker will be played on television at least once or twice over the next few months. Not that it's a bad thing, since we're longtime fans of the 1983 flick. It's also why we dug this group costume at Santarchy that features Ralphie in his pink bunny costume, a Red Ryder doppelganger, and a human version of the "frah-gee-lay" leg lamp. It was indescribably beautiful.
Jack Skelington Speaking of other cinematic holiday favorites, The Nightmare Before Christmas is also another entry on our top 10, which is why we were happy to see Bryan Bingham toddle up to The Firehouse on stilts while dressed as the Sandy Claws version of the Pumpkin King. While he didn't have Sally in tow, Bingham did have his friend Valerie Grubb -- who was also rocking stilts while dressed as a sassy character known as The Bitch -- acting as a sidekick.
Gingerbread House in the Snow We easily could reference that old kneeslapper about when someone sits around a house they really sit around a house in regards to Jacob Wolf's cute costume, but it wouldn't be as funny as the fact that the Alice in Chains song "Man in the Box" happened to be blasting from Shotgun Betty's sound system when we took his photo.
Breaking Bad Tribute The trio of Phoenix resident Nick Sharp and his pals Jason Jones and Patrick Graziano must've been dreaming of having a Walter White Christmas (wokka, wokka) since they came out to Santarchy while dressed in matching yellow Hazmat suits and breathing masks (a la Heisenberg and Jessie Pinkman) that were decorated with holiday trimmings.
Remy the Reindeer: Champion of the World If Vince McMahon ever finds himself in need of another comedic superstar to battle Santino Marella in the ranks of World Wrestling Entertainment, he might want to consider giving Remy Leggat a call. We're willing to bet that the Tempe resident -- who purchased the lucha libre-style wrestling mask from Japan and added a cape, tights, and wrestling belt to complete the ensemble -- would be a real animal in the ring.
The Die Hard Tribute One of the more memorable scenes from the original Die Hard was when super-cop John McClane left a note to German bank robber Hans Gruber scrawled on the corpse of one his henchman declaring that, "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." Travis Geyton, who claims to have seen the movie "at least 20 times," paid tribute to the scene by dressing as said henchman. He also inexplicably spoke in a hammy Russian accent. "I am actually from California," Geyton says, "But I tell people I left Siberia because I was in arranged marriage with large bear." Yippee ki-yay, comrade.
Mr. T Santa The children of the world should be grateful that this hybrid of the Clubber Lang/B.A. Barracus actor and Saint Nicholas, portrayed by Chandler resident Aaron Keel, won't be coming down their chimney on Christmas Eve. "I pity the fool that's been naughty this year," Keel says. "And my prediction for all those kids that have been naughty? Pain."
Darth Santa Over the last couple years, Scottsdale physician Christopher Lykins has dressed as a cheery and festive mash-up of everyone's favorite Dark Lord of the Sith from the Star Wars saga and Kris Kringle in honor of
Life Day Santarchy. Despite the fact that the event was often crowded and a bit rowdy at times, Lykins didn't have to choke anyone out.
The Santarchists Local couple Kristi Walsh and Paul Wallace offered up a quite literal take on the notion of Santarchy with their punked-up ensemble that boasts spikes, spiky hair, chains, fish net, and plenty of scowls and a bit of attitude. Oh, and a couple of hook'em horns to boot.
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Heather Dessel's Human Candy Cane A few days before Santarchy, local artist and Burning Man fan Heather Dessel uploaded a photo of some candy canes, heat therapy patches, and a sequined headband to her Facebook and declared, "Okay I'm ready for Santarchy!" And then on Saturday night, she showed up to event at Dos Gringos as a walking version of the striped peppermint confection, including red-and-white body paint that took two hours to apply. It caused more than a few jaws to drop and so impressive (not to mention brave, given the freezing temps) that it earned "Costume of the Night" honors in our opinion.