UPDATE Saturday 12/07 12:06 PM: The Krampus Run is on.
UPDATE 3:45 Friday 12/06/91 Krampus LA will decide by tomorrow at 4 PM whether or not they need to cancel the run due to weather.
The Krampus Run, or Krampuslauf, during which dozens of European-inspired Krampuses run through the streets dispatching spankings to the deserving, will be held at Alpine Village in Torrance this year, just west of the 110 freeway. In previous years, even though the Krampus Ball is traditionally held at Alpine Village, the run has been a separate event held in conjunction with the Downtown LA Art Walk. Holding the free, all-ages Krampus Run on Saturday from 6 PM until 7 PM, just before the ball, is a nice consolation prize for the many people who couldn’t get tickets to the always-sold-out party. The ball has awesome bands this year, including Rosemary’s Billygoat, so if you do get a chance to get on the list or buy a last-minute ticket, I strongly recommend you go for it.
According to Krampus Los Angeles, the new setting “will be the closest thing yet to the experience you’d enjoy in a little town in the Alps. Not only will the festivities take place amid the faux-Bavarian splendor of Alpine Village’s chalet-styled shops and chapel, but we’re also going to MAKE IT SNOW.” The new location is ideal, because it “creates more space, more twists, turns, and hiding places for chases and for surprises encounters with switch-bearing devils.”
Where did the Krampus come from? Since the mid-1800s, Krampus, the horned beast of Alpine legend, has been carrying on the tradition of St. Nicholas’ menacing counterpart, who punish the naughty children. Costumed in animal pelts and horns, Alpine villagers playfully chase children around with switches. Although the rugged topography of the Alps kept the folklore of Krampus regional for many years, it was just too much fun to be ignored and spread to America in the 21st century. In Los Angeles, the Krampus group was spearheaded in 2013 by Al Ridenour and Al Guerrero, veterans of The Cacophony Society and Santacon.
If you have never been to Alpine Village, there are little German shops and a huge market. The shops close at 5 PM, but the market will be open until 7 PM. The market not only sells German products, but all kinds of European imports, so arrive early to buy some cool stocking stuffers. The restaurant will be closed in preparation for the Krampus Ball, but the market has a bakery, which will be in full-on holiday mode, so you can get amazing seasonal treats like marzipan stollen.
After the mayhem, you can grab a bite at one of Old Torrance’s best restaurants, like Madre Oaxacan Restaurant and Mezcaleria, or Local Kitchen Tavern. For a few more bucks head over to the San Franciscan, a cool, old-school steakhouse on Sepulveda Boulevard. You also can’t go wrong with Hawaiian or Japanese food in the South Bay.
The Krampus Run is a lot more fun if you get into the spirit by wearing your most festive and/or German finery, perhaps a pretty dirndl. There is a good chance of rain and temperatures as low as 53 degrees on Saturday, so do dress warm in your best rain gear. Umbrellas might be dangerous for the Krampuses, especially with everyone running around all crazy. Use your best judgement. Here’s hoping you get a kiss from the benevolent St. Nicholas rather than a swat from a Krampus. Unless you’re into that kind of thing. MORE INFO.