You better watch out, Krampus is coming
Terra Blue looks to establish a new downtown Greensboro holiday tradition, for the pagans and the persecuted, with a visit from Krampus on Dec. 7.
“Krampus thinks he hasn’t been given a fair shake and he’s demanding his job back. Come and support him in his effort, and get a photo with him, too,” reads the event description.
Terra Blue, a shop for “coffee, beads and otherworldly goods,” is owned and operated by married-duo Sarah and Allen McDavid, and serves as an outlet for pagan cultures and new age practices, hosting daily readings and astrological events.
Following the success of their Samhain Soiree in October (a public component of their three-day pagan conference called “the Gathering”), Terra Blue hopes to establish more recurring traditions with a nontraditional flare.
“This will be our first year hosting Krampus,” said Allen McDavid, the man behind the various Ribfests throughout the state and the Carolina Caledonian Scottish festival in Fayetteville.
“I’ve wanted to do it for a long time, but the other events I produced kept me swamped,” he explained. “Since learning of Krampus, I’ve been interested in the cultural and religious significance of the character. From my perspective, it seems clear that he is ‘The Horned One’ from the European Pagan Pantheon, demonized by the Christian Church, as has been the case for pagan deities for the last 2,000 years.”
Officially “sidelined by fascists” in 1934, according to the brochure, Krampus is ready to rise as a holiday mascot for the modern age, symbolic of vilified minorities and relevant with current affairs for the underdogs and otherworldly.
Photographer Chad Perry will be taking professional photos of folks with Krampus—Santa style—with a green screen background of the attendee’s choosing. Refreshments of coffee, cider and hot chocolate will be on hand, and their neighbors at the Gate City Candy Company will be involved in some tasty fashion, though McDavid couldn’t give details. “Suffice to say, it will be sweet,” he said.
There’ll also be Krampus merchandise available—Terra Blue is a retail store alongside its spiritual nature, and ‘tis the season for this adorable off-the-beaten-path shop, located on South Elm Street in Greensboro. Having opened in December 1999, they’re one of the oldest boutiques in downtown and will host a 20th-anniversary party on Dec. 20.
“In our expansion plans is a desire to provide a coffee and wine shop for our people to gather and interact without any fear of judgment or damnation,” McDavid said. “A store like ours naturally attracts folks who tend to think and act differently than what some might consider normal, whether it be their spirituality, self-definition or relationship preferences.”
“We revel in the diversity and the insight and knowledge they bring,” he added.
As downtown has grown, and traditions come-and-gone, Terra Blue maintains its commitment to being a “safe harbor for folks who flow against the mainstream.” Krampus’ visit is lighthearted, but there’s reverence for observing the significance of Yule—where the longest nights of the year signal the sun’s return. From the darkness comes the light, and McDavid hopes attendees will engage in relevant conversations around pagan beliefs and traditions.
Notoriously incorporating many Yuletide customs, Christmastime is ingrained in our culture across religions.
“One of the benefits of the Christian Church adopting so many pagan practices for Christmas is most of the non-religious celebrations fit rather nicely into our belief system,” McDavid noted.
Celebrating rebirth with merry and mistletoe, feasts and fun, and making wishes to strangers in bright outfits, it all folds together. A parent of ‘80s-babies, McDavid fondly remembers Greensboro traditions of the past. Visits to the Chapman Street Santa were among “the seasonal have-to-dos,” he said. “I also took the girls to see Santa at the old Forum VI mall,” he added. “That guy remains the best Santa I’ve ever seen.”
The Festival of Lights and Greensboro Holiday Parade live on as welcomed traditions among the Terra Blue family.
“I’m happy that it’s such a good one,” McDavid said. “I took my kids to it over the years, and now that I have a 4-year-old grandson, I’m hoping to take him.”
But McDavid’s grandson will probably have to wait until next year. The 2019 parade falls just a few short hours before Krampus comes, and the folks at Terra Blue need time to prepare their shop for photo-ops and a horned deity done wrong.
Terra Blue hopes to start a new holiday tradition, in honor of the Old Ones, with a Visit From Krampus on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6-9 p.m., at 518 S. Elm St. in downtown Greensboro.
Katei Cranford is a Triad music nerd who hosts the Tuesday Tour Report, a radio show that plays like a mixtape of touring bands, 5-7 p.m. on WUAG 103.1FM.