Post #33: ‘Tis the Season!

While logging on to WordPress this week, I saw a blurb about one blogger commenting on the Santacon in New York City, which occurred on December 10th, 2011. I only just learned what this was a few days ago, so I was immediately interested in the blogger’s story. For those who don’t know, it’s an event in NYC where thousands and thousands of people dressed in Santa suits (and a few other get-ups) go around the city, particularly bar-hopping. In 2010, the estimated turnout for this event was 10,000 Santas. The article I stumbled upon, “So 10,000 Santas walk into a bar…” details Santacon from a participant’s perspective, in a very entertaining and well-written way, and actually in a style quite similar to my collumnist’s.

To begin Santacon 2011, participants gathered at two starting locations: the marina at the Hudson in lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is described that in order to not scatter throughout such a large city and end up losing the effect of a “sea of Santa’s” running around, a mysterious leader “periodically tweets instructions indicating where in the city the throng should assemble.” Sometimes to get from point A to point B, the Santas take the subway, yet most times they just walk. I’m sure this is quite the site for both the locals and tourists, and it is also mentioned that quite a bit of caroling fills the ears of those in witness.

After some time to hit the bars in that area, a Twitter announcement told the Santas to meet at the South Street Seaport. The blogger of this article mentions one of his favorite moments during any Santacon; when his group was walking down the Street towards the Seaport and a little boy around eight years old was watching them and yelled to one participant, “Are you the real one?!”

After Seaport, the blogger said that their next stop was City Hall Park, but unfortunately the NYPD showed up and announced that the Park was being closed. I’m sure this event causes a lot of uneasiness for the NY police and I’m actually quite surprised they don’t appear more in the beginnings of Santacon. After that occurred, they all moved on to Grand Central Terminal; the picture accompanying this description is utterly ridiculous.

After Grand Central the police make a more prominent role in the tale. The blogger states, “Sadly, by the time I had arrived in front of the library, the Santas were gone from the steps. In their place were New York’s finest, standing watch. It appeared that what had occurred in City Hall Park had happened again. There was only one thing to do: repair to a nearby bar for some much-needed libations.” Before any one gets all jumpy and thinks that a 10,000 person mob of drunken Santas is probably some sort of communal hazard (okay, I’m thinking it too), the blogger says that “Santacon tends to be remarkably devoid of misbehavior. Sure, there’s the occasional Bad Santa; but most people who participate are just trying to spread holiday cheer, and remain well-behaved.” In fact, the most frequently violation of the law that was committed was the open container law (which might seem quite obvious), and yet, Santacon continued until nightfall!

This day for many ends with an “official” Santacon after party, described as an actual ticketed event in Brooklynn. However, the blogger states that he instead chose to remain in the East Village and hit up more bars there, including a popular karaoke bar. Let’s just picture for a second a bar completely filled with Santas (maybe one or two that just happened in there by mistake) singing karaoke…

I thoroughly enjoyed this bloggers detailed description of Santacon 2011, and I think that it was well articulated and entertaining right to the end. While not necessarily written with persuasive intents, I think this post can work to persuade many to either lessen their criticism of the event or maybe even participate themselves. I know that the way it was described by this author, I would consider participating in it, and I’m actually pretty sad I didn’t know about it so I could join in this year. Hey, the more the merrier, right?

Here is the link to the original post, I encourage everyone to check out the pictures!


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