SantaCon is an annual gathering of men and woman from all walks of life who don Santa suits and roam the city looking for fun. It is non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.
SantaCon began in San Francisco in 1994. It was sponsored by The San Francisco Cacophony Society and inspired by a Mother Jones article on the Danish activist theatre group Solvognen who mobbed a Copenhagen Department store just before Christmas in 1974, handing merchandise out to customers as “presents.”
This seasonal holiday event now occurs in cities all around the globe, most notably New York City which attracts thousands of merrymakers in Santa costumes.
The first New York SantaCon began in 1998 when 200 Santas went caroling up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Originally, the event was meant to be a “Joyful performance art” but it has evolved into a “Reviled bar crawl” where the actions of participants have been accused of “sexism, drunkenness, xenophobia, homophobia and enough incidents of public vomiting and urination to fill an infinite dunk tank.”
Some communities are now advocating local businesses and bars to refuse service to the Yuletide Santas who spread disorder instead of cheer.
SantaCon is also known as Santarchy, Santa Rampage, Santa Crawl, the Red Menace, and Santapalooza.
The SantaCon.info website provides the most complete list of SantaCon events on the Internet. The website was founded in 2008 by Santa Ian (aka, “Websanta”) to keep track of SantaCons in the eastern USA for himself and his friends.
Now the list has expanded worldwide, covering over 300 cities, including London, Vancouver, Belfast, and Moscow.
NOTE: During the 2014 SantaCon celebration in San Francisco, a man dressed in a Santa Suit robbed a bank in Union Square and then disappeared into a crowd of revelers dressed in similar attire.
SantaCon – San Francisco – Twitter (Website)
SantaCon – New York (Website)
SantaCon – Newport (Website)
Pros and Cons of Santacon (Video)
SantaCon – 2013 (Video)
SantaCon – News Report (Video)
SantaCon – Portland 1996 (Video)