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Ho Ho Huh? Some Truly Independent Clauses

From a Times Staff Writer

More than 200 revelers dressed in Santa Claus costumes swarmed Los Angeles subways, sidewalks and bars Saturday to celebrate Santacon, a somewhat mysterious annual event held by pranksters doing some un-Santa-like things in the name of meaningless fun.

The Santas -- some of whom modified their costumes to look like lobsters, burlesque dancers or pirates -- doled out oddities such as old credit cards and ramen noodles as Christmas gifts to passersby.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Anthony Cohen, 20, standing on the platform of the Vermont/Sunset Red Line subway station when he was suddenly surrounded by a swell of Santas chanting “Ho” in unison. “It made me really happy.”

Things got jollier as the Santas squeezed their way into Hollywood bars.

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Some had a head start drinking cocktails stored in bleach bottles.

Participants who were interviewed refused to reveal their identities, saying instead that their names were “Santa Claus” and that they were from the “North Pole.”

Connected to the Dadaist art group the Cacophony Society, Santacon was begun 12 years ago in San Francisco and has spread nationally.


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