You'd Better Watch Out: SantaCon Returns

This annual red-suited pub crawl takes over NYC on Saturday. Mommy, why is Santa walking funny?

What if you could distill the very best things about the holiday season – Santa, dressing up, and drinking, not necessarily in that order -- into a single event?

Good news! There is an event that combines all three, and it’s coming to town on Saturday, December 12. That’s when SantaCon descends on New York City (also Kalamazoo, Nashville, and Vienna, Austria, among other cities – SantaCon is a global phenomenon).

What is SantaCon? According to organizers, it is “a not-for-profit, non-political, non-religious and non-logical Santa Claus convention, attended for absolutely no reason.”

Rule No. 1: Dressing up is mandatory. And that doesn’t mean phoning it in with a red hat. You need to go full Santa. Creativity is encouraged – some host suggestions include takes like a Santasaurus, the Santichrist, Stewardess Santa, and even a Chanukah Squirrel – but jeans will not be tolerated. Does Santa come all the way from the North Pole wearing a pair of Diesels? We didn’t think so.

Rule No. 2: Santa doesn't get arrested, because that just looks bad. So while this is a pub crawl that starts at 10AM (…), maintaining a level of decorum is essential. Participants should be jolly, not three sheets to the wind. Also, Santa does not mess with kids, cops, security or other Santas.

Rule No. 3: Santa being Santa, he’s full of generosity, so you’re asked to bring 1-2 non-perishable food items to the starting point. SantaCon NYC ’09 donated 1,000 lbs. of food to the NYC food bank; this year, they’re aiming for a ton.

Last year, 1,000 Santa impersonators descended on Midtown. To join in the chaos, head to

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