Everybody sing along: "On the first and only day of SantaCon a drunken Santa gave to me, a fifth of vodka and a porno DVD."
Such was the naughty yuletide spirit that ran through Denver SantaCon 08, the annual all-day holiday bar crawl on Saturday, December 20, in which revelers donned their St. Nick caps and drinking faces and rode their beer-soaked sleigh clean across the city. While Denver's Santarchy, which has been occurring for years, isn't as substantial as the multitudes of crazy Klauses that swarm places like New York City and San Francisco, what the Mile High Christmas crew lacks in numbers it makes up for in audacity.
The festivities got off to an early start this at the Blue Bonnet at 457 South Broadway, where dozens of Santas, plus a foxy elf or two, came together over morning beers and tortillas. Soon the congregation spilled onto the side of Broadway, waving signs at cars reading, "Less cookies, more hos!" and "I see you when you're sleeping!" While some handed out pornos and tubes of personal lubricant from their sacks of "toys," one enterprising Santa shook his empty coal-black boot in supplication at passing cars, asking, "Have some change for Santa? It's a recession Christmas."
Swigging from poorly concealed flasks and shouting drunkenly, "We got good tidings up in here!" the bedraggled assemblage, growing in numbers, made its way south courtesy of a Santa-filled light rail train. For provisions, the Santas ran rampant through the Whole Foods in Washington Park, wreaking havoc on the trays of freebies throughout the store. "What are you advertising?" asks a bewildered store employee, to which the bleary-eyed Kringles just ho-ho-hoed mischievously. Then it was on to the Pub on Pearl, at 1101 South Pearl Street, where everyone gathered together to croon imaginatively revised Christmas carols, such as "O Come All Ye Perverts" and "HUFF! The Nitrous Angels Sing."
That's when the Easter Bunny showed up - a sign of the lunacy to come. Soon it was again time for everyone to hit the road - more bars awaited, not to mention a strip club or two. The red-and-white throng was heard to exclaim as it stumbled out of sight, "A crappy Christmas to all, and to all a drunken night." - Joel Warner
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, 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 Denver with no paywalls.