Ypsilanti once again kicks ass… Thousands take to the streets in celebration of child-licking demon, Krampus

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.]

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  1. Posted December 19, 2011 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    And I know that it wasn’t “thousands”. I just like hyperbole.

  2. Edward
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Just reading the captions at A2.com, it makes it sound like people flew in from Japan and San Francisco for this.

  3. Gene
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the great fun – Ypsi rocks!

  4. Posted December 19, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    For next year, I suggest that someone (I lack the requisite ability at drawing) should make and sell “Grüß vom Krampus” (Greetings from Krampus) holiday cards, ideally featuring Krampus in various Ypsi locations. Or, rather than draw, someone could get costumed up and take photos around town for the cards.

  5. Eel
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    You’ve come a long way from zombie Santas.


  6. Anonymatt
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Sounds like a great time.

    Could you talk to whoever posted the video with “Krampi” in the title, and get him/her to stop? I hate when people use Latin plurals incorrectly.

  7. Mr. X
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    What’s the correct form, Matt? Would it be krampuses?

    As for improvements next year, I’d like to see a torch-building workshop the night before, or the morning of the festivities. I’m told that you can make pretty good ones with sticks, cotton balls, fabric and wire.

  8. Posted December 19, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Great night, indeed! I know there are at least a few friends that couldn’t make it this year. With a turnout and fun like we had this year, I can only see this growing!

    Thanks for all your work to make this, and countless other awesome things in Ypsi happen!

  9. K2
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    One of these days that young man who approaches you in the bar and says he moved to Ypsi because of you will be pissed, and he’ll have a shiv.

    Ypsi’s not for everyone.

  10. Posted December 19, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    “What’s the correct form, Matt? Would it be krampuses?”

    Well, technically, I think there’s just one Krampus, just as there’s one Santa Claus/Saint Nicholas/Sinterklaas (and now, I guess, a Lady Krampus to go with Mrs. Claus?). So to the extent we have more than one, it is people (plural) dressing as the Krampus (singular).

    But if you absolutely MUST pluralize it, we should look to the original German usage. The German Wiktionary gives the plural as Krampusse.

  11. Eel
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    God, that sounds dirty.

  12. anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    There has to be child sacrifice in the future, or at least some form of corporal punishment. Children need to know that there are repercussions for bad behavior.

  13. Steve Swan
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to announce casting for my adult Christmas film “Krampusse”. I will be auditioning actresses this Friday night in Inkster, starting at 9:00 PM, on the second floor of the Flight Club. I’ll be the guy in the corner booth with a Polaroid. Merry Christmas.

  14. Anonymous Mike
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    The naughty beer rocked. Thanks, Logan.

  15. TeacherPatti
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Both beers were great, but the naughty beer was AMAZING! Mark, I know I spoke to you and words came out of my mouth and I think those words had consonants and vowels in them but I have no idea what I said. The reason for this is because I had three of those naughty beers.
    I brought some friends (yes, I know, it is astonishing that I have some!) who had not been last year and all of them loved it! Can’t wait til next year!

  16. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I counted around 100 people in the parade, give or take, including the band. The torch lighting was hilarious. The Naughty Beer was fantastic. I had fun even though I felt like total shit.

  17. Anonymatt
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    I knew the plural would be something Germanic, but didn’t get to look it up while at work, thanks cmadler. And I agree with Eel, it sounds really dirty. This has been a fun vocabulary lesson.

  18. Posted December 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Hey Mark. I meant what I said to you (even though I had been drinking). I love working and living in Ypsilanti, it’s really a fun place! Stuff is really cool, but not in an uncomfortable way. I had been planning on going to this since I ready about it last year. It was so worth it!

    The nice beer was alright, maybe better with a meal, but the Naughty beer needs to be bottled!!! Good shit!

  19. Posted January 6, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Oh Ypsi, I miss you. I’ve seen some good times here in Spain but Krampus never showed up. Nor did the Detroit Party Marching Band. Thanks for sharing the videos; it’s good to see familiar spaces & faces.

5 Trackbacks

  1. […] one of our Krampus events, you can find photos and videos by clicking on the following links: 2010, 2011, […]

  2. By It’s beginning to look a lot like Krampus on December 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

    […] them, I think you’ll get a pretty good sense as to what the event is all about: 2010 recap, 2011 recap, 2012 […]

  3. By “It’s beginning to smell a lot like Krampus” on December 11, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    […] them, I think you’ll get a pretty good sense as to what the event is all about: 2010 recap, 2011 recap, 2012 recap, 2013 […]

  4. By Krampus 2014 recap on December 22, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    […] four links. If you follow them, I think you’ll get a pretty good sense of things: 2010 recap, 2011 recap, 2012 recap, 2013 […]

  5. […] them, I think you’ll get a pretty good sense as to what the event is all about: 2010 recap, 2011 recap, 2012 recap, 2013 recap, 2014 […]

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