Heretic toasts its anniversary with Santa, toys

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With free flowing cocktails, a fountain of chocolate and a portly Santa, the Heretic celebrated its 22nd anniversary on Monday with a hitch: Bring a toy to gain admission to the private reception.

Santa–no, not the naughty ones from Friday night–scored a mound of toys to donate to CHRIS Kids and the gay bar celebrated with friends and patrons during the event, an annual party that is part customer appreciation, part holiday mixer and always a charity fundraiser.

While Heretic mainstay Knomie Moore worked behind the bar, the evening also included special guests: DJ Mike Pope, who mingled outside the DJ booth he regularly mans, drag pioneer Diamond Lil, who chatted with friends, and Deana Collins, an owner of 3 Legged Cowboy who delivered an emotional farewell when the bar closed in 2011. But gay country nights soon found a home at Heretic, with the blessing of Collins.

Top photo: Heretic co-owner Ray Collins (left) with General Manager Alan Collins.

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