Krampusfest 2014 events [LA, Pasadena]

by Rusty Blazenhoff

When St. Nicholas’ demonic crony Krampus isn’t busy doling out discipline on the bad kids during the Christmas season, he can be found roaming the streets of Austria and, now, Southern California.

Krampus Los Angeles, the only Krampus troupe in the western United States, has announced its 2014 event schedule. Headed by Rev. Al Ridenour (Art of Bleeding, LA Cacophony Society), the troupe is set to hit Los Angeles with its demonic shenanigans in its 2nd annual Krampusfest events, happening in late November into mid-December.

More details are available at their website, of course, but here’s a look at what’s happening:

[SAT 11/29, LA]: THE KRAMPUS: Talk with Costume Catwalk: Krampus folklore explained and illustrated with a festive stream of rare images, film clips, and walk-ons by costumed members of the Krampus LA Troupe. [tickets]

[SAT 12/6, LA]: The Krampus Ball: Rammstein meets Krampus as Krammpstein, Bavarian dance and music with D’Oberlandler Bavarian Dancers, “Night of the Krampus” by Rasputin’s Marionettes, German cabaret from Christina Linhardt and a fearsome visit by not only our indigenous Krampus, but also several of the real thing from Austria. Same lodge-style venue as 2013. Imaginative and comfortable Krampus-light costuming encouraged. [tickets]

[SAT 12/13, LA]: Krampus at the Echo Park Community Parade: The Krampus LA Troupe, a steam-powered Krampus-driven vehicle, and the first Austrian Krampuses to visit North America. 11 AM – 2 PM; FREE

[SAT 12/13, Pasadena]: St. Nicholas 1888: A Kinder-Horror Holiday: Celebrating the sterner side of Christmas with a traditional Austrian Krampus play from the 1880s presented alongside the child-rearing terrors of “Der Struwwelpeter” (“Shockheaded Peter”). All set in a historic building of the era! Costume event: period clothing, festive or grim encouraged. TWO shows (6 PM and 9 PM). [Tickets]

If you’re interested in participating, check out these guidelines and if you’d like to learn more about the history of Krampus, check out this this Atlas Obscura article written by Rev. Al in late 2013.

We have more than a dozen people sculpting masks and handcrafting costumes weft by weft, each of them striving to create that “real” Krampus look. And our group is not alone. Philadelphia and Portland preceded us by a couple years, and all the while we are learning of new groups in Bloomington, Indiana; Detroit; Elgin, Illinois; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Indianapolis; New Orleans; Omaha, Nebraska; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Providence, Rhode Island; Richmond, Virginia; Saint Louis, Missouri; Washington, DC; and Ypsilanti, Michigan. So there are lots of people asking: “What should a Krampus really look like?”

[read more]

Personal note: I went to the Krampusfest 2013 events and had a fantastic time. Take a look at my photos from those events.

photo by Rusty Blazenhoff