There was certainly no mistaking that Saturday, December 15, was New York’s annual Santacon celebration, as I moseyed through Times Square. The “non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason” packed NYC’s densest neighborhood with thousands of twentysomething Santas, elves and other Christmas disciples of every shape and size.
I was incorrect in believing that Santacon is a bar crawl. Its webbie notes that “every time you call it that, a sugarplum fairy dies.” Whoops. It’s actually, in part, a food drive, with designated stop where, yes, you eat and imbibe. In 2011, Santacon raised $10,000 for Toys for Tots and donated more than 6,000 pounds of food to Manhattan and Brooklyn food banks.
The route this year began at 10 a.m. at Pier 84 on the very West side of 42nd Street, then made its way through Midtown, the East Village and into Brooklyn, with sponsored stops along the way.
Some 20,000 Santas participated in Santacon last year… along with such celebrations around the world. It originated in 1974 in Copenhagen; spread to Austin, Texas in 1978; San Fran in 1994; and since… has become a national event in cities worldwide.