Are you tired of Santa? Do you find tinsel distracting?
Well then, friend, Festivus is your heritage. It’s part of who you are.
So, grab your pole out of the crawl space because Flying Saucer Draught Emporium on Senate Street is throwing an annual party that’ll scratch you just where you itch.
It’s Festivus for the rest of us!
The Festivus holiday, crafted for the most cynical among us, was introduced by scriptwriter Dan O’Keefe in the ninth season of “Seinfeld,” based on his family’s own holiday traditions.
In the episode “The Strike,” Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) reveals that a holiday shopping fistfight inspired him to imagine a new holiday – Festivus.
Celebrated annually on Dec. 23, the tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances.
“At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year,” Frank tells Kramer (Michael Richards).
Sarah White, assistant manager at the Flying Saucer in Columbia, says their Festivus will be a little less intense.
On Festivus night, bargoers can gather ’round the aluminum pole, an alternative to a Christmas tree (with a very high strength-to-weight ratio), and write down their grievances for 2017. The grievances are handed over to musician Jackson Kemp, who will read them aloud throughout the night.
“He filters through some of them,” White says. “We try to keep it PG-13.”
From guitarist Jackson Kemp, guests can expect a mix of old classics and popular hits.
“He always tosses in some Christmas songs,” White says. “A little bit of everything from the ’90s and up. It’s a very eclectic style.”
As Festivus rolls on, we come to the feats of strength. At the Costanza Festivus, George (Jason Alexander) is forced to pin down his father in a wrestling match.
Luckily, at Flying Saucer, it doesn’t have to come to that.
This year, Festivus participants can once again compete in the sign hoisting. Sponsored by Sam Adams, fearless competitors will hold a sign in front of them for as long as possible until they get tired.
As for food, White says up-front, “It’s spaghetti, not meatloaf.”
To clarify, a pre-HDTV debate once ensued among “Seinfeld” fans who couldn’t identify the reddish food Estelle Costanza (Estelle Harris) served at the Festivus dinner table. Some believed it was spaghetti, which initiated it as a Festivus tradition. (Thanks to modern technology, we now know it was meatloaf.)
Flying Saucer will also be offering a variety of special holiday brews. In anticipation of Festivus, White says, “We’ve been holding onto a keg of the Highland Imperial Cold Mountain. We have planned ahead.”
Other brews on the Festivus list include Terrapin’s Moo-Tella, a chocolate hazelnut imperial milk stout, and the Thirsty Dog Old CHOCO, a mint chocolate milk stout. Beers are expected to range from $7 to $10.
Spaghetti and specialty brews will be available all day, but Festivus festivities officially begin at 8 p.m. The airing of the grievances will continue until 11:30 p.m., and the feats of strength could go on as late as 2 a.m.
White is hopeful that Flying Saucer’s manager will be defeated quickly.
According to the tradition, she notes, “Festivus can’t end until the head of the house is defeated.”
If you go
A Flying Saucer Festivus!
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, to 2 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24.
WHERE: Flying Saucer Columbia, 931 Senate St.
COST: No cover charge.
WORTH NOTING: Airing of grievances will take place from 8-11:30 p.m. Feats of strength may continue until 2 a.m.