This article may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you.
Why SantaCon? Because it’s fun!
Did you SantaCon in San Francisco last year?
The atmosphere of downtown San Francisco changed the instant we stepped into the crowded footpath of Santa Claus’, Elves and tons of Santa’s helpers.
SantaCon was on!
Imagine our surprise to see hundreds of Santa’s flooding into the park adjacent to one of the busiest shopping areas in San Francisco city in mid December. What had we stepped into?
Braving the cold winter’s day, Santa’s sheltered from the light drizzling rain under umbrellas or plastic see-through raincoats. Others were dressed scantily seemingly oblivious to the rain or the cold. They strolled off towards the first pub-stop accompanied by Santa’s and Elves playing Drums, Flutes, Trumpets and other musical instruments.
What is SantaCon?
SantaCon is an annual pub crawl in which people dress in Santa Claus costumes or as other Christmas characters.
Gathering together with the common purpose of distributing gifts to underprivileged people, they wander from pub to pub in the spirit of the season.
On the 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. Sometimes individual events are referred to Santarchy, Santa Rampage, Santa Crawl, the Red Menace and Santapalooza and many others. It’s all part of the fun!
Check out the SantaCon website for details of your local event.
SantaCon is Everywhere!
If you don’t see a SantaCon happening near you in the lead up to Christmas, check the Locations page.
Much to my surprise SantaCon takes place in a number of cities around the world, even sunny Australia. Lookout for the Melbourne and Adelaide events next year. 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 ‘websanta’ who takes personal responsibility and pride in doing the best he can to enable you to enjoy, locate, participate or even 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 the event organisers do 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 and handed out items from the shelves of a department store 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 first began in San Francisco in 1994 and then in 1998, a “young San Franciscan” in New York City strapped on a fake white beard, donned a $12 red suit and led 200 Santa’s 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