SantaCon in New York

Just imagine this: You’re sitting on a train early Saturday morning and all of a sudden a mass of Santa Clauses and elves hops onto your car. You are utterly confused and think it must be a bad movie or dream you are awakening of. Then, on the platform there are other Santa Clauses, some seem lost, some confused, some annoyed, others drunk.

The annual SantaCon took place this very last Saturday!

For all of you who, like I, did not know what a SantaCon is: Join the Rows! SantaCon has gained more and more popularity throughout the 21st century. Supposedly starting out in 1994 somewhere in the US, but then gaining back its popularity in 2004 and on, SantaCon takes places in many cities all over the world now. It is a massive gathering of dressed up people who wear a Santa Claus costume or anything pertaining to the Christmas Idea. Of course it looks more impressive when a mass of red and white costumes group together, than mixed up specks of green and blue could ever do …(if you’re going for a fairy or elf costume, that is!) The main purpose of a SantaCon is easy: To get together in a cheap funny costume and drink as much booze as possible!

So this year I missed out on SantaCon, sadly. My coworkers and my roommate told me about this event only one day ahead of time, and, aside from having other plans already, I didn’t feel like scrambling for a costume. The SantaCon Web site and their Twitter Account keep you updated throughout the day where Santa Claus has to move to. That’s right – the participants do not actually know what is going on until they arrive at their first location of bars and pubs in the early morning. This very first location is tweeted and announced at approximately 9 PM Friday evening (SantaCon is always on a Saturday, as people will surely be hungover the next day!). The idea is to move on to at least 4 (unknown) different locations throughout the event, so a core requirement, aside from having a costume, is to be in possession of a metro card with at least 4 rides left on it (no worries if yours is unlimited). The first stop this year was the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn and a location close to the water in Manhattan. 10 AM, folks, early bird awakening to get your booze and fun!
Then the crowd moved to South Street Seaport, at which I can only imagine the ocean of Santa Clauses that day. My coworker mentioned how crammed full all levels of the Seaport had been. Nowadays, the locations are announced by twitter, so having a smart phone is helpful. I guess you could just go ahead and follow the mass of Santas when they move towards the subway. I know Grand Central was a stop in between as well. I was there on my way to Queens and saw a few lost Santas and elves, who were evidently tired of being up on the street all day long (but nonetheless in a good mood, I wonder why…). Afterpartys are a must. My roomie was home at 7 PM already, though, and very hungover when he woke up in the evening.

To me, SantaCon sounds like another senseless occasion to get drunk, but the fact that people dress up shortly before Xmas is a cute idea. I wonder if I might be able to be part of it next year… My friend and I saw a lost Santa on the train in the middle of the day and asked him how much he had spent on his costume. It was somewhere around 60 Dollars. Unless I find a cheaper way of dressing up, I will come up with my own costume.

I’ve heard of SantaCon in London, too, and really wonder how that might be. New York is a great city to be in, when events like these happen. The city provides a lot of space for nonsense, and a mass of dressed up people flooding your subway car can really make your day. Just another one of those ideas that spread the holiday spirit and can cheer you up!

See another fantastic post on Santa Con at Hbomb’s blog!

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3 thoughts on “SantaCon in New York

  1. Yeah I’m sure you can find or make a cheaper costume that will be just as cute. I agree it does seem like an excuse to get drunk but that’s not always a bad thing. At least you’d have a big group around for support lol.

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