poster by james g. mundie
poster by james g. mundie

IT NEVER CROSSED MY MIND IT WOULD TAKE ME MORE THAN TWO ENTIRE WEEKS TO GET A BLOG POST UP ABOUT KRAMPUSLAUF 2013. but things have been that busy and there have been that many pictures to edit and that many more things going on — including, of course, another opportunity to participate in krampuslauf beginning january 18, in a gallery exhibition at iMPeRFeCT gallery in germantown.

but first, a recap of krampuslauf philadelphia 2013.

first of all, our maker workshop got snowed out. not snowed out like we figured out not to go before we got there — or put the giant goat-bird hybrid chris carson was building into the U-haul we had rented — but snowed out in the way that we got there, got everything out, worked for fifteen minutes, then decided we all might have to spend the night if we did not go back home right then.

with lauf only a week away, the weather reports for our big evening continued to look rather frightening. some snow, or snow all day leading up to lauf time, or lots of snow, depending on the hour and source. i fielded a lot of messages wondering about rescheduling. eventually, we decided that, even if we knew that people coming from some distance would not be able to travel (including 100 high school students who had spent the year preparing for krampuslauf philadelphia, with a grant they had been given for mask and lantern making), that this was an alpine tradition, and we were going ahead.

this is not to say that any of this was done bravely or cheerfully on my end, at least not with any consistency. i cried. there was one three-hour period of catatonia. i yelled at tucker when he asked how to open an odd type of bottle.

and, even though we can now say cheerfully that chris carson made this thing, for most of the weeks leading up to krampuslauf, chris carson had not ENTIRELY made That Thing, and was doing so exclusively in my house.


i, a complete slave to holiday mission creep, had decided to Not Deal and just make new christmas stockings for my kids that better matched the ones i was making the twins, and so was more or less bolted to the couch knitting and checking weather reports.

the day of the lauf came and linda and janet were sure we were at one with the universe. it was snowing. it was going to continue snowing. the habergeiß, even though chris wanted to make more adaptations even hours before lauf (and still does), had to be loaded into the truck. the stage was being cleared of ice, for the fire dancers, out at liberty lands.

we got dressed and got everything together and got in the car.

photo courtesy of jill saull
photo courtesy of jill saull

what ended up happening was undoubtedly our most spectacular lauf yet. this was as much snow as anyone could have comfortably stood for, and things got wet… and cold… we had some casualties as far as lanterns were concerned… but das mädchen — that’s what we decided to name the habergeiß the day or two before lauf — was coated in that new rustoleum spray that smells horrible but makes things virutally waterproof. the masks tucker had made for himself and béla were also covered in this stuff, and spared from the snow. i was so busy, i never got my perchta mask or spindle or distaff out of the car.

photo courtesy of sam moon rafferty

it didn’t matter. i didn’t need them.

we made people happy.


our krampuslauf philadelphia family grew and strengthened in many ways, including a return performance — IN SLEET — of fire dancers lux arati. (who quite reasonably call krampuslauf 2013 their “most hardcore show of the year”.)

my only real regret is that not enough people got to enjoy the company of artist len peralta, who had to take cover in standard tap to do his drawing — the weather was just too intense. so not as many people got drawn as could have by far, but what we saw was pretty great. (rob’s is my favorite.)

gedreier eckhart, aka rob, by len peralta
gedreier eckhart, aka rob, by len peralta

local coverage from PHL17 went undetected during the actual event, but gave us this lovely photo set.

our official set of photos from 2013, from which we will choose images for our yearly book.

2013 believe it tours clip video (as we still work on our own)…

and a very big thank you to everyone who came faithfully, worked HARD, got cold, had a very good time. we love you.

das mädchen definitely loves you!

photo by jill saull
photo by jill saull

it is the goal of a number of our growing “core people” to do more regular maker events throughout the year — this, making things together, and growing community through art and time spent together, is the only “growth” i want to see for krampuslauf philadelphia. so do stay tuned for information. we are sorry to have missed the company of those who in the past have come from so far away, but are glad that those who braved it made it home safe, and i don’t think any of us can say we’d have wanted it any other way. krampuslauf in the snow is the way to go. see you in 2014!