Are you one of those folks who cringe at America's month-long conversion into a twinkling, tinsel-wrapped Hallmark-world? Is the deluge of artificial "goodwill toward man" that comes with a January 1 expiration date enough to make you want to assault one of those Salvation Army bell ringers?
Santarchy might be just the thing for you.
Inspired by a similar event, called "Cheap-Suit Santas," that made its way through San Francisco years ago, Santarchy is now a nationwide phenomenon in which pranksters bar-hop their way through the city, spreading their own brand of Christmas cheer, which typically includes boisterous bowdlerizations of classic carols.
That, and a lot of drinking.
Santarchists trumpet the event as a "celebration and/or protestation of the holiday season." Of course, by the time these Santas hit the sixth or seventh bar in their spree, the celebration is likely to become a perversion of Christmas cheer, with slurring, stumbling Santas yanking off their beards to do shots.
St. Louis' Santarchy crew will distribute small gifts, beginning at Cicero's (6691 Delmar Boulevard) at noon. Then it's on through the University City Loop, followed eventually by bus and MetroLink rides to bars in the Central West End, downtown and Soulard. The evening will be highlighted by a jaw-dropping "march" from 20th Street to Tucker Boulevard, and will conclude after thirteen hours of imbibing with a 1:15 a.m. nightcap at Rue 13 (1311 Washington Avenue).
Organizers are hoping for a strong turnout, perhaps one that approaches San Francisco's annual 100-Santa mob. If you think you've got the stamina to Santa your way through fourteen bars, join the crew at www.santarchy.com. -- Byron Kerman
Chilled Monkey Brains
Are curiously absent
Remember the end of The Freshman, when Matthew Broderick is convinced that Marlon Brando is running a millionaire's gourmet club that serves up sautéed endangered species? Well, for those who couldn't stop smacking their lips at the thought of a five-star-chef-prepared Komodo dragon, there's the annual Great Stone Hill Beast Feast.
Now in its sixteenth year, the Beast Feast ($40 admission) has featured such dishes as pheasant Marsala, sherry-roasted dove, deer-liver pâté, smothered quail and rabbit stew. An accompanying auction is slated to sell off, among other items, a Browning twelve-gauge pump shotgun and several rare bottles of booze from the Stone Hill Winery, the Hermann, Missouri vineyard where the event is being held. Those are two gifts that work well together when hunting for dinner. All proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The event begins with a wine-and-appetizer reception at 7 p.m. To make reservations or find out more, call the Stone Hill Winery at 800-909-9463 or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at 800-264-2873. -- Rose Martelli
Catwalk in the Duck Room
Too sexy for the Loop
A few short blocks of Delmar Boulevard offer nearly everything any self-respecting, appearance-conscious person could ask for (except Botox and a plastic surgeon). To demonstrate the bounty, Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard) is hosting the free Loop Holiday Fashion Show from 3-5 p.m. (314-727-8000, www.visittheloop.com/holidays). The walk features sexy party clothes from show organizers Tantrum, fresh gear from Squad 1 Sports, conversation-stopping jewelry from Nieja Bend and chic shoes from Soul for Your Sole, to name a handful of the participants from the west side of Skinker Boulevard. (MacroSun, among others, represents the east side). Add a soundtrack courtesy of DJ Alexis, then top off the international and trendy threads with hair and makeup by D-Zine. Bring your holiday wish list, and after the show take advantage of one of the Loop's many delectable restaurants. -- Alison Sieloff
Dog Meets Grim Fate
Holiday parties adorn every day of the December calendar, but few welcome well-behaved pooches, and only one will honor Randy Grim, the "man who talks to dogs," along with the celebrated "Quentin the Miracle Dog" (the latter survived the city pound's gas chamber, and both recently appeared on The John Walsh Show). Dress casually to party with the pets at the boathouse in Lafayette Park (Park at Mississippi avenues) from 6:30-11:00 p.m. Tickets for the Hope for the Holidays Gala benefiting Stray Rescue of St. Louis (www.strayrescue.org, 314-771-6121) are $75 and the evening's program includes refreshments, music, a blessing-of-the-dogs and a book-signing with Stray Rescue founder Grim. -- Mallarie Zimmer
Have you seen enough of Santa, yet you still want to celebrate the season? Get over to MacroSun International (6172 Delmar Boulevard, 314-726-0222) for their free Intercultural Holiday Happening and experience the holidays in a Santa-less zone. Beginning at 1 p.m., you can enjoy tribal and gypsy belly dances by the combined forces of Radhiya's dancers and the Sisters of the Silk Road, all of whom are much more appealing than Santa and his "bowl-of-jelly" belly-shaking. Additionally, local artists will be demonstrating their skills in Mehndi Indian henna body art, so you can have your Christmas list writ upon your arm in something slightly more permanent than Sharpie, and it will look much nicer as well. -- Paul Friswold