Why SantaCon? Because it’s fun!
The atmosphere of downtown San Francisco changed the instant we stepped out of Macy’s into a crowded footpath of Santa Claus’, Elves and Santa’s helpers. SantaCon was on!
Visiting San Francisco in mid December imagine our surprise to see hundreds of Santa’s flooding into the park adjacent to one of the busiest shopping areas of the city.
Braving the cold winter’s day, Santas sheltering from the light drizzle of rain under umbrellas or plastic see-through raincoats whilst others were dressed scantily and seemed not to notice the rain or the cold.
Drums, Flutes, Trumpets and other musical instruments accompanied the Santa procession as they wandered off towards their first pub stop.
What is SantaCon?
SantaCon is an annual pub crawl in which people dressed in Santa Claus costumes or as other Christmas characters and band together with the common purpose of distributing gifts to underprivileged people as they wander from pub to pub.
On the SantaCon website, the term “SantaCon” is used with a capital S and a capital C to refer to any public gathering of people dressed as Santa. Individual events go by many names as well as SantaCon. You may hear them referred to Santarchy, Santa Rampage, Santa Crawl, the Red Menace and Santapalooza and many other creative names. It’s all part of the fun!
Check out the SantaCon website for details of your local SantaCon.
Where is SantaCon?
Everywhere. If you don’t see a SantaCon, check the Locations page.
Much to my surprise SantaCon takes place in a number of cities around the world .. even our very own Melbourne and Adelaide in Australia. In fact, at least 397 cities in 52 countries and some cities have more than one SantaCon!
SantaCon.info is the official site and is the work of one Santa. A ‘websanta’ takes personal responsibility and pride in doing the best he can to enable you (Santa) to enjoy, or find or create a SantaCon near you.
Free for Santa
If you want to give,
please do so at the local level … they may require a small donation to cover costs.
SantaCon is free to attend, however some organisers may ask for a small donation to cover costs or to help support a good cause.
SantaCons are listed on the website free of charge and SantaCon does not accept money from organizers or participants.
The SantaCon Story
Inspired by an article on the Danish activist theatre group Solvognen. In 1974, the group gathered dozens of “Santas” in Copenhagen to hand out items from the shelves of a department store to customers as “presents” before they were arrested. The prank was aimed was to make fun of Christmas and the rampant consumerism associated with the holiday. Originally called Santarchy it was not intended to be a recurrent event.
SantaCon began in San Francisco in 1994.
SantaCon came to New York in 1998, when a “young San Franciscan strapped on a fake white beard, donned a $12 red suit, and led 200 Santas as they went caroling up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan,” to the delight of passersby.
Official organizers have described it as “a nonsensical Santa Claus convention that happens once a year for absolutely no reason”.
Find a SantaCon near you!
Go to SantaCon.info for a list of all SantaCons around the world.
Reference: SantaCon, Wikipedia