Area residents are invited to participate in a different kind of Christmas celebration with the 3rd Annual KrampusNacht and December First Friday Art Walk on Dec. 6. in Hollister.
Hosted by State of the Ozarks, KrampusNacht and First Friday Art Walk will both take place on Downing Street in Hollister from 6-9 p.m.
State of the Ozarks Editor-in-Chief Joshua Heston said that, even with the two events running side-by-side, the art walk will run just as it always has, with KrampusNacht taking place inside the bistro room of the Ole English Inn.
“I’m encouraging people to come in cosplay. They can come in any cosplay they want,” said Heston. “We are also going to have a Macabre Art Show going on inside the bistro room. We did that last year. The entrants were really amazing and terrifying and creepy. So I’m again anticipating something along those lines.”
Heston said there will be a cosplay contest and awards for the winners. The event will also feature special guests Ghostbusters of the Ozarks and Branson Con.
“Santa will tell dark Christmas stories, and then about 8 p.m. Krampus will show up in hopefully all of his terrifying glory,” Heston said. “Last year, Santa told a lot of Old World European stories like The Legend of the White Witch and Where House Elves Come From and just fun, dark, creepy stuff. At the high pinnacle moment, Krampus shows up. A lot of people wanted to get a selfie with Krampus, which was fun.”
Following Krampus’ arrival, KrampusNacht attendees are then invited to participate in a Krampuslauf, or Krampus march, down the street to Vintage Paris.
“At Vintage Paris, Krampus will disappear,” said Heston. “Santa will remain and Santa will tell Christmas stories. Specifically Christian Christmas stories, weather permitting, around the fire.”
Krampus originated and was celebrated in the Alpine regions of Germany and Austria, which, according to Heston, serves as the link to the Ozarks and reason behind for hosting this event.
“We can’t say one way or the other, but there may have been German immigrants who came into the Ozarks and remembered Krampus or they may not. I don’t know,” Heston said. “What we do know is that, in both the Arkansas and in the Missouri Ozarks, German immigration in the 19th Century was huge.”
Heston said that, due to the reputation that is typically associated with Krampus, he wanted to issue a disclaimer to anyone concerned about this event.
“I am a Christian. I’ve been a Christian for a long time,” said Heston. “I think that Krampus is important … because it’s historically and culturally significant to a portion of our heritage.”
Heston added that this event is designed to be family friendly.
“As far as the stories go, as far as Krampus himself, it’s family friendly. As long as little kids are OK with looking at Krampus,” Heston said. “Krampus isn’t going to jump and scare anybody. He’s a friendly Krampus, and so I’d say any age would be totally fine.”
While many have seen the movies and shows that depict Krampus as one way, Heston said he wants people to understand that Krampus is not the devil and it is not a dark, evil version of Santa Claus.
“Don’t believe what the movies say. The movies got it wrong. First of all, Krampus appears on St. Nicholas Eve (Dec. 5),” said Heston. “On St. Nicholas Eve, St. Nicholas comes to give treats to the children, but …Krampus also comes. Krampus is the dark companion of St. Nicholas. So they come together. They’re not the same and it’s not a dark version of Santa. They arrive together.”
As KrampusNacht is taking place alongside the First Friday Art Walk, attendees are also encouraged to visit with the several artisans who are participating in the final art walk for the year.
All of the participating merchants and artisans who participate in the art walk each month are members of State of the Ozarks. Following the success of this monthly event, Heston said he has so much gratitude for the SOTO team and artisans that have worked hard to make it happen.
“I think a very solid driving force to the longevity of the season and the success of the season has been that we’ve really all been on the same page,” said Heston. “All of our people are members. They understand what it means to be members.
“They understand that we care about the community.”
Heston said SOTO will be proposing a 2020 First Friday Art Walk schedule of April through December to the city of Hollister.
The KrampusNacht Macabre Art Show is open to both SOTO members and non-members.
Anyone interested in being a part of the show or needing more information can visit stateoftheozarks.net.