If you’re looking to spice up your holiday season with a little something off the beaten Hallmark Christmas movie path, look no further: On Sunday, December 5, after a COVID year off, the annual Milwaukee Krampusnacht will return to the Bavarian Bierhaus. Buckle up for a night of costumes, music, food and drink, arts and crafts, and general tributes to the half-goat/half-demon Krampus, a figure from Alpine folklore who punishes naughty children and acts as a foil to the do-gooding Saint Nicholas.
“I think people really love this event because it’s not about greedy commercialization. It’s about getting together, checking out local music, crafters, and performers, and just having a creepy cool great time,” says event coordinator Tea Krulos.
Past installments of Milwaukee Krampusnacht have indeed been big hits, and this year looks to be no different. Per a press release, this year’s highlights include:
• The Krampus Holiday Market, a wide range of 20 local crafters selling ornaments, candles, jewelry, ceramics, books, clothes, dolls, and more, open 4-10pm. Perfect holiday shopping for all the lovable weirdos in your life.
• The American Ghost Walks Krampus Parade features dozens of performers dressed as Krampus, witches, angels, and other characters of holiday folklore. The parade is outside in the beer garden area at 7pm.
• Live music includes Leaky Bellows (5pm), Sweet Sheiks (6pm), Sunspot (8pm) and The Quilz (9pm).
• The Bavarian Bierhaus has food and drink, including a special Bells & Chains brew for the event. The outdoor Bells & Chains Tavern in the beer garden has games and a set by DJ 10-foot Tall Krampus.
• Other activities include the Kid’s Krampus Hour, White Elephant Gift Exchange, and Krampusnacht Scavenger Hunt.
• For our third year, we’re hosting a toy drive and benefit raffle for Toys for Tots at the event.
(The 2021 Milwaukee Krampusnacht is dedicated to Scott Wolter: “Scott was an important part of this event—he participated every year and taught children about the Krampus tradition at our Kid’s Krampus Hour in 2018 and 19. He passed away last year and will be missed.”)