I have a soft spot in my heart for Santarchy because of how I first encountered it. The very first December I lived in the area, I was sitting in a Starbucks off Dupont Circle and I noticed someone in a Santa suit go by. Then another. Then a few more. By the time a stream of them were stumbling by, one stepped into the shop and said…. something. It could have been the quadratic formula, to be honest – I was still a little surprised. A friend later reminded me of The Tick crying “it’s a yuletide!” in the face of a flood of Santas.
That was my first glimpse into Santarchy, and I still regret not immediately standing up and joining the crowd. I should have had a little more Santa in my heart that day and a little less Elvis (though everyone has a little Elvis in them (except the anti-Elvis)). I finally went back in 2006, and it was far more fun that I could have anticipated.
You’ll see some Santarchy pictures in bars, but the majority of them are out and about on the Mall, or in front of the White House. That’s not just because of lighting – much of the fun of Santarchy is surprising people the way I was surprised back in 2002. If I had to choose between the two halves of the day, I think I’d pick the daytime Mall wandering, which is pretty shocking for a drunkard like myself. If you like handing out candy to kids on Halloween you’ll love giving candy canes to them when dressed as Santa. The photo above has a cleverly camoflauged tourist – dressed in red – posing among the Santas.
The majority of the other shots aren’t creative commons or in our flickr pool, so I can’t inline them here, but you can check out the Santarchy DC pool for some great photos. There’s one I’m *cough* particularly fond of which certainly does make a compelling case for staying with the santarchists through to the indoor portion of the trip…
Some of my other favorites are the Smoking Santas here (though I hope Santa brings them some nicorette so Santa won’t have to brave the cold next year, a gaggle of Santas in front of the White House, the scariest Xmas elf ever, Father Christmas and Lady Winter, and the most adorable little reindeer.
For other Santarchy pictures, a number of Noah Devereaux’s Santarchy shots are already in our pool, but he’s got a nice page of them at his blog. DCist’s Kyle Gustafson had some good shots on his writeup from Sunday as well. If you have any other favorites let us know or encourage them to submit them to our group.