DRUNKENSANTAS: THE COMPLETE HISTORY
Fact, Fiction, & More Fiction
In the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and ninety eight, it was born. Impeachment was in the air and so was the thin pall of smoke emanating from August’s cigarette. With August was the man, the myth and the not so big legend Matthew Dwyer. Shockingly, they were at Madigan’s, closing down the bar after yet another record night at the registers. Bill, in a jolly mood after counting the tons of one-dollar bills smacked on the bar by Jager hungry yats, asked the fellas what they were up to for the holiday season. “170.” replied August, which elicited hearty guffaws from the 3 people in Madigans. Bill then launched into one of his famous stories about a band of friends he had known from his Deadhead days in San Fran. It seems a friend of a friend of a friend….friends would put on full Santa suits, rent transportation and troll the cities watering holes in search of redemption and cheap beer. Dwyer looked thoughtfully at his beer. The seed was sown.
(Note to those out of town readers who don’t who know who/what the hell I am talking about: Madigans, located at the corner of Maple and South Carrolton Ave in New Orleans Louisiana’s Uptown district, is the Drunkensantas HQ and a favorite of many college students and locals... Bill is the manager of Madigans, Dwyer (at the time) the bartender. August is August. Now on with the story…)
5 days later, Matthew, August, Glenn Bove, Jonathon and Ben Sanders, and Daine (who was later kicked out of the band and replaced by RON ST. PIERRE) rented Santa suits and descended upon Uptown as the founding fathers of Drunkensantas.
Matthew is and shall forever be known as SantaClaus #2, with less responsibility than #1. Glenn, not to be outdone, acquired a ‘Jester’ Santa hat and proclaimed himself JesterClaus. He is formally addressed as Santa #1. The rest was, you know, the rest. Much mayhem ensued, none of which will ever be admitted to. Suffice to say the inaugural Drunkensantas was funnier then the time Glenn puked on August at city parks par three golf course… but not by much!
Like all budding organizations, membership growth was small due to the selective standards of debauchery employed by the founding Santa’s. Basically, you had to not suck to join, which is an increasingly rare trait. Nevertheless, the numbers grew with 15 Santa’s riding in their newly purchased suits. Rentals were gone and so was the stag element of Drunken Santas. (Thank the good lord!) 1999 witnessed the introduction of Ho, Ho, Ho’s or female Santas (Created by and will always be known as the HHIC Natasha D). Dressed in sexy holiday tops and naughty holiday bottoms, these members have launched many a candy cane into the air the last 5 years. Actually, Tanya Dwyer didn’t want to be left out of the insanity that is Drunkensantas. Thanks Tanya!
Year 3, MILLIENUM Drunken Santas saw 35 Santas and 14 Ho, Ho, Ho’s ride their white stretch sleighs around town. Some crazy bartender connections put the Santas at Superior Grill for an extended stop. The tequila led to the donning of sombreros and the concept of “themed” Drunken Santas was validated. Nelly’s #1 Stunna was remade into “I’m da #1 santa, ha wha wha what!!!” Later that evening SantaClaus #1 survived a vicious Goldberg spear into the Pat O’s garbage after failing to execute his patented “jump and tuck” move. In all… it was very, very Good cheer… and pass the Budweiser laced eggnog!
2001 was a pretty crappy year for the USA, but the Drunkensantas gave a big f-u to bin laden and the rest of the fun haters in the world by riding with a unprecedented 65 Santas and 20 HoHoHo’s. Luminaries like Chipp Dogg, Ox and our favorite Real World cast member Kari hit Fats, the Columns, Samuels, Luckys, Ugly Dog, Parkway, Cats, Tropical Isle and some other favorite watering holes. The Santas also paid tribute to one of our brethren struck down by cancer by donning traditional black armbands. We partied like Jeremy would have, as 106.7 the end gave us an on air shout out while patrons of the Columns ran for cover. (We promise to behave if we are ever allowed back in there…actually never mind!) It was a defining moment for the Drunkensantas as traffic stopped on St. Charles, streetcars skidded to a halt, doorman shook their heads and tourists literally fell over themselves trying to get a picture taken with JesterClaus. Some of the best themed Santas of 2001 included Hawaiian Santa, Gras Santa, Rummel Santa, Hippie Santa, Skull, Skull, Skull Santa, and Cubs Santa. In the words of Santa #28, “it was damn freaking panic, man!”
2002 was the Fifth Anniversary of the Drunkensantas. Santas had to bring in extra sleighs, 8 in all, for the Drunkensantas now numbered over 90 Santas and HoHoHo’s! It was described as controlled chaos by horrified observers and for those who were there… IT WAS. A long, long trip that took us from Club 360 out to Midcity resulted in many tired Santas (including a large Gorilla Santa that decided to have a long winters nap on the floor) but a quick trip back downtown helped restore the glow in Rudolph’s nose to a healthy gold(club). Parkway RIP!
Before we launched the 2003 edition of Drunkensantas, we decided to have our first “Summersantas” practice round so that we could properly honor “the core 30” Santas that make the ride what it is. Or we just wanted to get drunk. It was still so hot in herre at Coyote Ugly at 3am that we had to take some cooling shots; luckily Ms. Lynette was still around to take us back to the North Pole or else we would still be slurring the Devil Went Down to Georgia!
Drunkensantas 2003 had the air of the National Championship game, which was ironic because LSU would play Oklahoma three weeks later in the Sugar Bowl. There was great coaching, some big hits, more then a few fumbles and some exceptional between the tackles power running. It was almost too crazy though as the logistics of carting a stunning 150 Santa’s and HoHoHo’s across and over town proved daunting. Happily though, Cats Meow once again saved the day as we all found each other there, warm in the knowledge that nothing is quite as unifying as 3 for 1 mixed drinks.
After a scintillating Summersantas that featured Mud wrestling, Max, and a mechanical bull; a lean, mean Drunkensantas machine hit the streets in Dec. 2004. Our leadership cut the dead wood off the sleighs and put together powerful group of Santas that was committed to driving themselves into the ground with alcohol. Having both the Miller and Bud reps as well as a 20 ft inflatable Santa defiantly helped! Some new stops also spiced things up as did the addition of some of our favorite bartenders to the “riding” group. Many longtime Santas remarked that 2004 was by far the best ride the Drunkensantas have ever had!
2005 was destined to be a great santa season, especially after a wonderful summer santas that took the core group on a walking tour that somehow made the trip from Budda Belly to The Club to Mayfair to Superior to Milan to Fats to Kingpin seem short. Unfortunately as we all know, Katrina crushed our plans by scattering Santa’s over at least ten states. Despite the loss of several Santa houses and sleighs due to the flood, it might have been Drunkensantas greatest ride ever in 2005. Santa #1 and #2 took some time off from rebuilding several bars and gathered the few remaining Santa’s in a walking tour that was covered by the Times Picayune and its ace reporter Chris Rose. The drunkensantas were hailed as an organization that epitomized the ‘never say die’ sprit of our great city and were lionized as one of the few groups that tried to inject some cheer into an otherwise dismal holiday. It is a ride that will hopefully be talked about in the history books as a spiritual turning point for the city…because it was.
2006 has seen a resurgence of Drunkensanta sprit. Our Christmas in July party was awesome and there was even a potluck dinner of cheese fries at F & M’s for hungry Santa’s. Yum yum!
Drunkensantas 2006 will be December 7th, 2006. Here is the formal invitation from Santas #2…
Here we go again. Once again it is that time. The time to dress in red and try not to throw up in your beard. A time to show off your hos or your honess. It will be a time to remember, but most likely forgotten (accept on Santa’s myspace). A time to show the world that Santa doesn't give a crap about little kids or toys or joyfulness only that Santa wants to get DRUNK!
So forget your jobs, your kids, and even your church group and get ready for DRUNKENSANTAS 2006.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 7TH 2006
Come one come all and let us stroll into the Christmas season. This is our ninth anniversary with only one arrest. Let's break tradition.
Members of the press have been contacted (and invited!), as have our MANY friends at the NOPD, FEMA, Allstate, the Sheriffs Office, The Assessors (RIP), The National Guard and the Fire Department. So on Thursday Dec. 7th, 2006… hide the children, come out for a cold one and watch the 9th Anniversary of the Drunken Santa’s plunder, pound and pillage their way through the bars of the Crescent City!!!
Merry Christmas to all and to all HoHoHo’s a good night!