Participants of last year's No Pants Light Rail Ride Phoenix waiting to board the train.
Participants of last year's No Pants Light Rail Ride Phoenix waiting to board the train.
Benjamin Leatherman

No Pants Light Rail Ride Phoenix Announced for January 2016

Prank-minded people of the Valley, better start shopping for some snazzy underwear and prepare yourself to go pantsless in public.

That’s because the annual No Pants Light Rail Ride Phoenix, the inane event where hundreds will tastefully drop trou before taking a train trip across the Valley, will take place just over a month from now.

Improv Arizona, the gonzo group responsible for such public pranks as the Flashdance Flash Mob and Epic Super Hero Battle, recently announced that the next edition of the No Pants Light Rail Ride Phoenix will happen on Sunday, January 10.

If you’ve heard of it before (or seen its pantsless participants in action), the M.O. of the No Pants Light Rail Ride is pretty much spelled out in its name.

The event’s been celebrated every year in the Valley since 2008, typically on the second Sunday in January, and involves participants gathering at light rail stations on either end of the public transportation system in their underwear (be it colorful, fanciful, or ordinary) and take the train into downtown Phoenix. They’ll then deboard and walk to a nearby bar for post-ride drink or three.

Similar No Pants rides take place on the same day in more than three-dozen cities across the world, each typically put on by a local chapter of infamous urban pranking collective, Improv Everywhere.

The intent of the ride is more about silliness instead of salaciousness and participants are often encouraged to act like nothing’s amiss or that they simply forgot to wear their pants that day.

Improv Arizona’s Jeff Moriarty, who helps organize the event here in Phoenix, says the event is a fun opportunity to go against social norms, earn stares from strangers, or just have fun.

“[It’s] a chance to thumb your nose, or knees, at the stodgy, conservative population of Phoenix and show them that, ‘Yes, some of us in this town aren’t so uptight,’” Moriarty says. “Some people take themselves too damned seriously, and it's really tough to do that with no pants on. And maybe to exercise a bit of freedom in a time where people are so worried about anyone acting unusual.”

Moriarty says that while organizers are still in the early stages of planning the 2016 event, they’ve already got a few new ideas for the ride, such as incorporating the recently opened light rail extension. He adds that they’ll also have a group of participants starting out the ride at Sky Harbor and using the PHX Sky Train system, much like during this year’s event back in January.

“[We] haven't talked about it much But we want to include the airport again, and the new [light rail] extension into Mesa,” Moriarty says. “Mesa could use more pantsless fun. Loosen the place up a bit.”

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