Santarchy Announces 2015 Edition in Scottsdale

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Ready or not, the holidays are just over the horizon and everyone’s already busy making plans. That includes the members of local prankster group the Arizona Cacophony Society who have set a date for the 2015 edition of Santarchy, their biggest and most anticipated event of the year.

Organizers of the annual Santa-themed event in Scottsdale, which involves thousands of costumed participants dressed as Kris Kringle or other characters inspired by the holiday season drinking their way through the city’s entertainment district, announced earlier this week on Facebook that this year’s version will take place on the evening of Saturday, December 12.

As with previous editions of Santarchy, which have taken place locally since 2007, participants will gather at a bar along Craftsman Court in Scottsdale — specifically at Old Town Gringos (formerly known as Dos Gringos) — before hitting up a series of other restaurants and drinkeries in the vicinity.

And just in year’s past, it’s likely to be one of the more unique experiences of the holidays, to say the least. Picture this: hordes of Santas, elves, anthropomorphized reindeer, sexy snowbunnies, Jack Skellingtons, human candy canes, Grinches, and gingerbread men crowding the sidewalks and bars of Scottsdale or engaged in harmless-yet-amusing shenanigans.

The Valley isn’t the only city that has a Santarchy, as similar events (also referred to as “SantaCon” or "Santapalooza") are held every year in locations worldwide, including New York, London, Shanghai, Vancouver, Tokyo, and elsewhere.

As much a costuming event as it is a bar crawl and subversive prank aimed at “twisting the holiday paradigm until it screams for mercy,” Santarchy not only requires that participants dress up (it's pretty much mandatory) but also emphasizes creativity in their get-ups.

According to Larry Steech, an Arizona Cacophony Society member and frequent Santarchy participant, it’s why there’s many different interpretations of Santa Claus seen at the event every December, including mashups inspired by Breaking Bad, Beetlejuice, or Star Wars.

It’s not limited to interpretations of Saint Nicholas, however, as we've also witnessed people dressed as Cousin Eddie from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Yukon Cornelius from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Ralphie Parker from A Christmas Story in recent years.

“Everybody kinda does their own thing and makes it unique but they're all Santa or Christmas-related at least," he says. "It's always impressive because there's so many different types every year."

Santarchy 2015 takes place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 12, in Scottsdale. Participation is free.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.