Last night was Ypsilanti’s big Krampus party. As all of the venues were packed, the Brewery sold out of our special “naughty” and “nice” beers, and no one died, I’d say it was a huge success. For those of you who couldn’t come, there are some great photos up at AnnArbor.com. I also shot a little video that I thought that I’d share. It’s not that good, but it should give you some sense as to how drunk and loud people were.
It’s hugely gratifying to see this little idea grow, and take on a life of it’s own. I know that a lot of people weren’t happy when we decided to stop having a winter Shadow Art Fair, and instead host a dance party in honor of Santa’s evil European sidekick, but I think last night confirmed that we did the right thing.
There were a million beautiful moments last night, but there’s one in particular that I wanted to mention. A young guy approached me at the Brewery, right before we left for the parade. He wanted to thank me for introducing him to Ypsilanti through my blog. He said that he was living in Jackson when he first started reading my site, and that, because of the stuff I wrote about, he decided to move to Ypsi. He said that he wanted to live in a community where things like the Krampus Ball, Mittenfest, the Shadow Art Fair, and all of the other things that I write about here, happen. And, he’s now living in Ypsi and working in Ann Arbor. I thought that was really cool… Of course, it’s probably true that, for every person attracted to Ypsi for these things, we probably lose two because they don’t like being woken up at midnight by tubas and bass drums, but I’m trying not to think about that.
OK, that’s all that I have time for now. If you have thoughts on last night’s events, please leave a comment. Here, to get the ball rolling, are a few thoughts of mine.
Next year… More torches… More rattling chains… Community sewing workshops where people can trade materials and work on their costumes together over beer… A choreographed dance number in which the Krampus battles with the Detroit Party Marching Band… A parade route that crosses the railroad tracks at a real crossing. (My friend Jason just pointed out to me that, had a train been coming down the tracks last night, as we were crossing, we might not have heard it over the band… which really would have put a damper on the festivities.)
And, here are those videos that I mentioned.
[Special thanks to the folks at the Corner Brewery, the staff of Woodruff’s, the Detroit Party Marching Band, Logan Schaedig (who brewed our delicious Naughty and Nice beers), the ladies of Elbow Deep, Spontaneous Art ( who brought our Krampus & Lady Krampus to life), Martin Thoburn (who created our video projections), the Mad Tinkers (who brought their Krampus masks from Wisconsin), our DJs, the men and women of the Michigan Design Militia who planned the whole damned thing, and all of you who came out and helped make it such a terrifically memorable event.]