Few people are indifferent to the phenomenon known as SantaCon.
On the con side not many want drunken santas roaming the street spoiling the image of
Santa in plain sight of the kiddies. Some even feel it spoils the image of Christmas: “But they aren’t celebrating Jesus!” (One NYC Parks worker was overheard saying.)
On the pro side, it boosts revenue for bars and costume companies. According to organizers, it is also a fundraiser. On http://santacon.nyc/ the suggested donation for each participant was $10. An inquiry was sent to “Blitzen” for a count of how much money was raised and where it would be given. As of this writing Blitzen has yet to reply.
McCarren Park was the official launching spot for SantaCon this year. Many local bars rolled out the welcome wagons. On the other pole of approval, Mugs Ale House was among the establishments who were anti-SantaCon, and they put several entertaining signs up declaring their wishes to be a SantaCon free zone.
The official send-off was 11 a.m. and was preceded by a moment of silence for oppressed peoples around the world. The silent moment reportedly lasted about 4 or 5 seconds. Then santas, elves, toy soldiers, and those dressed up as ornaments, trees, gift boxes, etc. were loosed onto the streets. Seconds after 11 a.m., a black cat was seen running at full throttle into NYCPet on Driggs Avenue. It was apparently evading a band of five jolly old elves sauntering behind it.
The NYPD was a solid presence along the SantaCon route and in the sky (two NYPD helicopters were spotted above). On Bedford Avenue, a couple hours into SantaCon, a woman requested the police officers she passed by to do something about the two very loud Santas and three guys in Christmas wrapping suits that were approaching. The officers sternly spoke to the men to quiet down and respect that people live here. The woman, who revealed she is a teacher, later said, “This stuff just creeps me out. What do little kids think when they see this?”
The recently opened Joe’s Pizza on Bedford Avenue, fed a constant stream of santas and their reindeer.
SantaCon began in San Francisco in 1994, as an ironic commentary on the commercialism of Christmas in the form of a pub crawl. Was 2015’s SantaCon naughtier or nicer than the previous ones? In regards to legally behaving themselves this year —five people were arrested and 106 summonses were issued.