How I Celebrated SantaCon Without Crying Outside A Burger King

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In New York City we are so very lucky. How many opportunities present themselves in any other city that allow one to dress in some kind of trashy, obnoxious costume? One. Halloween.

New Yorkers have not only on Halloween, but for a magical holiday event called SantaCon. Do you think Saint Patrick’s Day is crazy? Forget it. According to NYPD officer “Chris”, SantaCon is the ultimate amateur event for drinkers.

“This is much worse than St. Paddy’s Day, it doesn’t stop. It just goes on all day and all night. It’s a city-wide event with specific zones and locations. We’re running around all day trying to corral these people.”

SantaCon started in San Francisco in 1994, from that day on, it inspired a variety of drunken Santa events throughout the United States. Some resulted in looting sprees and cheerful wee acts of vandalism.Some people must have heard really nontraditional stories about Santa.

Thankfully, things have calmed down. With extra-added protection from NYPD, those bystanders subjected to this yuletide event can rest a little easier. This year for the first time, the route was actually posted on the SantaCon website. To prepare Manhattan residents and it’s throngs of holiday tourists from drunken destruction. SantaCon isn’t completely about getting hammered, though. Everyone’s encouraged to bring at least two cans of food for Manhattan and Brooklyn food banks or make a donation to the ever-popular Toys for Tots. The SantaCon website also insists that it is NOT a bar crawl (this is stated on the site with no sense of sarcasm). I beg to differ.

My day started at 10:00am at Pier 84 where all of the Santas could congregate as one big massive pre-drunken group, then were set free to explore the city.

There are Santa-friendly zones you can look up on the SantaCon website or even by downloading a SantaCon App. These were the zones:

Zone 1: New York’s Hottest Club is…The North Pole. Which included dancing at Pacha, a wedding at Hudson Terrace, bowling at Lucky Strike, Times Scare-A Haunted House with free porn and brunch specials scattered about (if you actually decided you wanted to eat something before you got annihilated).


Zone 2: Santa Delights Tourists in Midtown, including Legends Bar and Grill, Foley’s, Slattery’s.


Zone 3: Downtown Santa Takes the East Village, Doc Hollidays, The Thirsty Scholar and more.


Then at 7:00…


Zone 4: Hardcore Santa Does Brooklyn, destination Williamsburg, Spike Hill Music Hall, Spritzenhaus, with an after party at The Warsaw: start time 7:30pm-end time Christmas.

There were about 20,000 participants last year, this year those numbers were expected to double, if not more.

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