Soul Food Sunday: Santa Rampage

Santa Claus is coming to town.  Try thousands of Santa Clauses coming to town.

Years ago, I was doing errands one Saturday sitting at a traffic light when I see about ten Santas on bicycles ride past.  I started laughing and waving.  My whole day was made.

Fast forward to my second date with Noel.  “Have you ever heard of Santa Rampage?” he asks.  No.  He went to on explain that it’s the second best day of the year (Riverwest 24 is #1, duh).  The first Saturday of December, Santas from all corners of the city descend upon Lake Front Brewery to kick off a bar crawl that ends at Kochanski’s with a polka band, shotskis, and enough Christmas spirit to put even the bah-humbugiest among us in a jolly mood for weeks.

So, a couple months into dating, Santa Rampage became our official “coming out.”  I got to meet lots of Noel’s bike industry friends for the first time and our photos were the first to make us Facebook official.  Riding behind him on that tandem listening him yell “ho ho ho!” from his belly plasters a smile on my face that makes my cheeks hurt.

And yeah, it’s really fun to dress up and bike around with Christmas music blaring and stuff, but the thing that makes this day so great is seeing how happy it makes others.  People come out of their houses.  Grown ups alone in their cars go crazy honking the horn and waving like children.  Kids with their faces pressed against car windows.  Seeing all these Santas on bikes just brings out something pure in people and it feels like it really matters, like this is changing their day, maybe even their whole holiday season.  It’s delightful.  That’s really the only word for it and that’s why it deserves recognition this week.

Santa Rampage 2015


Santa Rampage 2016 (newly engaged)


Santa Rampage 2017


Santa Rampage 2018 (rain, cold, and wind meant cutting it short, but jolly nonetheless)  


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