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Here Comes SantaCon

Updated on November 30, 2014

Santacon, London 2011

Santacon London December 11, 2011
Santacon London December 11, 2011 | Source

What is a SantaCon?

In the month of December if you happen to see the curious sight of a large group of people parading down the street all dressed in Santa suits, you may have just encountered a Santacon. Although it is difficult to be certain, it is generally believed that the original event took place in San Francisco in 1994 and was called Santarchy. As the name suggests this gathering may have its roots in anarchist and counterculture groups of society, but over the years the tradition has become more mainstream and has spread to numerous cities around the world.

These events locally may be called by various names depending on the preference of the local organizers including Santa Pub Crawl, Cheap Suit Santas, Naughty Santas, Santapalooza or Santa Rampage. Often participants follow a pub crawl route in Santa costumes, carrying signs, playing music, singing naughty Christmas songs and dancing in the streets in between stops at bars and pubs to imbibe more Christmas spirits. Participants may pass out candy and gifts to spectators, create a flash mob, or form a conga line like this photo from a Santacon in London in 2011. Although the events are usually "R" rated, they usually do include the spirit of the season with acts of kindness or good will toward others. Often organizers encourage the merrymakers to bring a donation for a local food bank or other charity.

If joining in a Santapalooza, Santarchy or Santa Pub Crawl sounds like fun to you, check the link further down this page to see if there is one in a city near you this holiday season. In the meantime get ready to participate by getting your costume and enjoying the photos on this page from previous Santacons from around the world.

Santacon New York City 2010

Santacon New York Central Park 2010
Santacon New York Central Park 2010 | Source

Have You Ever Participated in a SantaCon?

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The Basic Pub Crawl Santa Costume

An Affordable Option

When I was looking for a costume, I realized how popular these events have become when I discovered this inexpensive, polyester costume that was created specifically for pub crawls. An easy way to participate while staying within a budget. The costume includes the hat, belt, jacket, pants and beard. The only thing NOT included is the Boots.

San Francisco Santarchy 2007

Santarchy San Francisco, December 15, 2007
Santarchy San Francisco, December 15, 2007 | Source

Disposable Cheap Suit Santa Costumes

Disposable Santa Costume
Disposable Santa Costume | Source

Disposable Santa Costumes

I must admit that participating in a Santa Con is probably a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list item for me. So although it is not as environmentally friendly, I was delighted to find this inexpensive disposable Santa Suit. For under $10. I can buy a suit for a pub crawl and not feel like I spent a lot of money if I never have an occasion to use it again. Surprisingly it is made of felt (not paper) and includes the basic hat, belt, jacket and pants. The beard, wig, boots, glasses and any other accessories are NOT included.

Gathering for the Santa Pub Crawl Portland 2007

Santacon Portland, OR 2007
Santacon Portland, OR 2007 | Source

Santa Suits for Annual Santacon Participants

For someone who plans on making a holiday pub crawl and annual event or has other occasions to dress like St. Nick, an investment in a higher quality more durable Santa costume would make sense. This is just one example of many that are available, but still at a reasonable price. This set includes the wig, beard, hat, belt, boot tops, and gloves. Accessory items like a padded Santa Belly, and glasses are NOT included.

Santas Gather in Fountain Square in Cincinnati 2011

Cincinnati Santacon 2011
Cincinnati Santacon 2011 | Source

Santacon Suit for Women

Fun World Costumes Women's Ms.Santa Pant Set Adult Costume
Fun World Costumes Women's Ms.Santa Pant Set Adult Costume

If the weather is cold this women's Santa suit can be worn with thermal underwear. It has good reviews from people who have purchased it.


Santacon Costumes for Woman

Women have several Santacon apparel options. There is always the option of wearing a traditional men's Santa Suit or wearing a women's Mrs. Claus costume.

LA Santacon 2013

Santacon Los Angeles, 2013
Santacon Los Angeles, 2013 | Source

What's a Santa Pub Crawl Like? - A short clip showing the Santas invading a bar during SantaCon Seattle 2011

Stand Out from the Crowd with an Elf or Grinch Costume - Other Costume Options

If you can't find a Santa costume or if you want to stay in the holiday spirit, but stand out from the crowd, there are other costume options. You can make a fashion statement by dressing as an elf or maybe The Grinch.

Take Your Best Friend Along

A Dog at Portland Santacon, December 5, 2009
A Dog at Portland Santacon, December 5, 2009 | Source

Pet-Friendly Santacons

Be sure to check with the organizers of your local event, but often Santacons are pet-friendly. If your dog is well-behaved and doesn't mind crowds of people dancing singing or other loud noises, it can be a fun opportunity to dress-up and bring your dog along.

Is Participating in a Santacon on Your Bucket List?

Would you like to participate in a Santacon?

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© 2012 Vicki Green

Please Sign My Guestbook - Your thoughts and comments about Santacon are welcome

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    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Sounds like that would be lots of fun. I will have to check for one near me.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      5 years ago from New York City

      It's always fun when SantaCon comes through New York. You see packs all over Manhattan, colorful and having fun.

    • PNWtravels profile imageAUTHOR

      Vicki Green 

      6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      @JenniferDCo: I'm not an organizer - thus far only a spectator - although I think it would be fun to participate. I would suggest getting in contact with some of the organizers through the links above.

    • JenniferDCo profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm organizing a Bunny Hop Pub Crawl in March. Any advice? What types of legal issues did you guys encounter

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You have enlarged my world here because I've never heard of a SantaCon or a Santa Pub Crawl before....or disposable Santa costumes!

    • profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      6 years ago

      Great lens idea, I have friends who do this every year (especially if a Pub Crawl is involved).

    • sdtechteacher profile image


      6 years ago

      This is funny! I've never heard of Santa con.


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