SantaCon in Fort Lauderdale: We Said "Ho, Yes"

Categories: Holiday Obscura

Video by James Argyropoulos

This Saturday was the third time Fort Lauderdale celebrated the annual Christmas-themed pub crawl, SantaCon. We were already dedicated to participating before it was brought to our attention that there've been some mixed feelings about the nationwide event.

Some people, particularly certain bar owners, feel as though the event has gotten out of hand. This distain derives primarily from the bar fights, public urination, and vomiting, along with all around sloppiness, that some claim comes with the SantaCon territory. People have even gone so far as to make anti-SantaCon websites. Others, however, feel differently. Norman Siegel, civil rights attorney, defends the rights of SantaCon attendees and stated in an episode of The Daily Show that these Santas do have a right to parade the streets.

Regardless of what anyone says, SantaCon initially started as a satirical prank. In 1994, Santas rallied against the commercialization of Christmas in San Francisco with 34 participants crashing elite parties to "shock people." The event was not intended to be a reoccurring booze fest, but ten years later, the event is still going strong. In fact, with the numbers of attendees growing exponentially over the years, the event is even stronger than in earlier years.

Despite the criticism SantaCon has received, we still believe that there are more pros than cons. Sure, there are some bad Santas out there that tend to give it a bad rap, but there are just as many good Kris Kringles as naughty ones. We may not be able to keep a naughty or nice list like Jordan Klepper suggests on the aforementioned Daily Show segment, but we found joy in SantaCon. Here's how.

See also: Santacon 2014 in Downtown Fort Lauderdale

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The 2014 Gift Guide for Metalheads

Categories: Holiday Obscura

Sayre Berman

By Lauren Wise

Searching for the perfect gift for that music lover in your life isn't so difficult. However, trying to find the perfect gift for a metalhead is a bit more daunting. It's not that we're picky -- we just don't particularly value the commercialized side of our beloved genre. Therefore, the emerging market of heavy metal "gifts," short of albums or t-shirts, hasn't really ballooned until lately.

I've received some killer heavy metal gifts in my day -- Pantera Chucks, Zeppelin vinyl, a miniature model of Dimebag Darrell's Razorback lightning bolt guitar, Jimmy Page's memoir, spike-bedecked high heels that would make a dominatrix envious, a stripper pole courted with a handle of whiskey. Oh, and a vintage typewriter. You might not think that's very metal -- but it is badass to this heavy metal journalist.

So here's a list of gifts for the shredder or thrasher in your life, whether it's you significant other, father, sister, friend... or if you just want to scare the hell out of someone. Trust me, if you want to get that annoying chick to stop calling you, nothing says "red flag" like a documentary on satanic black metal.

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Ten Best Holiday Albums of 2014

Categories: Holiday Obscura


It's a holiday tradition as etched into our memories as a well festooned Christmas tree or a Hanukkah bush, as intrinsic to our celebrations as a spinning dreidel or the stockings hung on the mantle, presumably with care. We're referring of course to the annual barrage of holiday albums featuring the old seasonal standards and brand new songs penned about the wintery season.

Frankly, many of them truly suck. They're just painful. Trust us, we listened to a lot of them to compile this list. Fortunately though, 2014 had a few occasional gems that transcend the norm and actually provide the possibility of pleasant listening year round.

Here are ten examples of new holiday releases definitely worth discovering.

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Three Companies Bring The Nutcracker to Life This Season

Ballet Etudes of South Florida

It's hard to get in the Christmas mood when it's 80 degrees outside and everything still looks the same as it did in July. Thankfully, there are some ways South Floridians can get in the holiday spirit this December, and it doesn't involve drinking peppermint mochas from Starbucks or playing in fake snow.

Going to see The Nutcracker ballet is a sure way to celebrate the season and get excited about the holidays. The story of a little girl named Clara (also known as Marie) who dances with a nutcracker, mouse king, and sugar plum fairy is a timeless tradition that has been enjoyed since its premiere in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Though the ending of the story, as well as some nuances of the characters, has differed over the centuries, the core story line of the ballet has remained -- a little girl's dreams come to life on Christmas Eve.

This year, there are three major performances going on in the Broward and Palm Beach County areas -- each with its own take on the dance.

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Wholesome Holiday 2014 Concert Guide for Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Photo by Christina Mendenhall

The Holidays have a funny way of bringing out the gentler, more cheerful side of people ... Even us bassed-out party animals here at New Times.

Maybe it's all the spiked eggnog or "sugar" cookies, but whatever it is, it's something, well, pretty magical.

And since we're in that wholesome Christmas spirit, we're hooking you up with a month's worth of Holiday lights and musical goodness, from George Balanchine's The Nutcracker to classic Christmas carols with the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.

Just check out Broward and Palm Beach's Holiday 2014 concert guide.

See also: Seven Best Classic-Rock Moments Released on DVD/Blu-Ray in 2014

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Ten Memorial Day Parties to Kick Off Summer in Broward and Palm Beach

George Martinez

Many spend the days leading into Memorial Day weekend securing sunscreen with just the right amount of SPF, nailing down out-of-town hotel reservations, or procuring enough Bubba Burgers to keep the guests at our megagrillout at bay.

But for others, the prospect of having an extra day off doesn't consist entirely of beaches, babes, and hot dogs. Some of us want to rock out, cut the rug, and dig on some cool vibes late into the night. We're psyched about that extra little time to cure our ugly holiday hangovers but know we need to weigh our entertainment options wisely. Opportunities like this come around only a few times a year, after all.

The melee of South Beach seems a bit daunting, so we've done the research on the best things to do this weekend to kick off summer the right way in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

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Kanye West's Letter to Santa

Categories: Holiday Obscura

Photo by Sayre Berman
We at New Times pride ourselves on our keen sense of journalistic curiosity. So we knew we had something when one of our interns walked into the office with a gold envelope that said "To: Santa. HURRY UP DUMB ASS MAILMEN"

Turns out it was a letter to Kris Kringle from none other than Kanye West himself. Trust me, I know it sounds crazy, but Yeezy didn't use enough stamps. We transcribed the letter for you to enjoy below. Sorry, Kanye.

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Five Best Holiday Parties 2013: Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Categories: Holiday Obscura

Christina Mendenhall

It's December, and we're still shvitzing in South Florida. Though Winter seems to have gotten lost on its way to this peninsula, the holidays have booked their flights, packed their bathing suits, and are coming to stress you the hell out. Everyone needs a break from their kinfolk during these mostly hateful, sort of loving, lots of drinking times.

It's a good thing then that this year, there are plenty of rocking and sexy ways to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, and just plain old horniness. What follows are the five finest holiday blowouts Broward and Palm Beach counties have to offer in 2013.

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Cinco de Mayo Parties in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach County That Rule

Categories: Holiday Obscura

Lex Hernandez

It is that time again, dear County Grind readers, when we gather to celebrate the triumphant independence of our neighbors to the south, Mexico. Let us waive that green, red, and white flag and ceremoniously push our lime wedges down our Coronas to toast... Er, wait... It's not Mexico's independence day? OK, well then, it's time to rejoice the Patron Saint of Oaxaca, a joyous celebration when the villagers bring out the clairvoyant toddlers! Um, yeah, no. That's not it either.

Let's be honest with each other, we haven't a clue what the hell Cinco de Mayo is really about, we just want another excuse to get shitfaced! Perhaps it commemorates some Mexican army win over the French in the Franco-Mexican War in 1862. But that sounds way too freaking boring for the shot, shot, shot, shot, shots of tequila good times this holiday is really about.

Give us a sombrero, a bottle of Patron, a freakin' chimichanga! We want a Mariachi band for the love of God! Here are the absolute best Cinco de Mayo parties, including a chihuahua race and plenty of Harleys.

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Five Best, Wildest, Weirdest Saint Patrick's Day Parties in Fort Lauderdale

Joseph Schell 
To hell with all those Irish jokes. We know that on Saint Patrick's Day you're just an alcoholic looking for an excuse to worship at the altar of your god Jameson. And Jameson is not a kind deity. He's more like that stepdad who hates you, but takes you out for ice cream before strapping your body with meat and sending you out into a particularly crocodile-infested area of the Everglades.

Green beer is ridiculously fun and Irish car bombs are, oh, so tasty. Pair those indulgences with your lack of self-control, and things will get sloppy on this greenest of holidays. So give in, and accept your fate this April 17. You'll probably end up stealing a leprechaun's virginity instead of its gold. So embrace the drunken perversion with these five most wild St. Paddy's Fort Lauderdale parties.

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