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Santa Doesn't Just Live In The North Pole

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Santa Doesn’t Just Live In The North Pole


December 7, 2023

Richard Watts


Tomorrow marks the return of the long-criticized “SantaCon” bar crawl throughout Manhattan. Attendees dress in Santa costumes and parade around the city stopping by each participating bar. New York City officials have already commented on the precautions made to deter the event from getting out of control and to protect city residents.

The global bar crawl originated in 1994 when San Francisco native Rob Schmitt and 38 of his friends dressed as Santa. They paraded around the city crashing holiday parties and even performing a theatrical hanging. By 1996, Portland hosted a SantaCon of its own, and the rest is history. New York City hosted its first Santa Con in 1998 and has since blossomed into one of the most significant charitable events of the year. 

According to the New York Santa Con website, “In the past decade, SantaCon has raised over $1.1 million for charitable causes”! So far Santa Con has confirmed Clowns Without Borders, City Harvest, Secret Santy Claus Project, Headcount, and Dance Parade as some of the charities they will be donating profits to. These charities supply the less fortunate with hot meals, toys, shelter, and more. Especially during the holiday season, these charities, with the help of Santa Con, will be making a difference in so many New Yorkers' lives. 

SantaCon’s generous donors, the “Santas”, participate in the one-day event by submitting their donations online. Participants receive a “Santa Badge” as confirmation of their donation and as access to the crawl. Donations start at a minimum of $15 but people are free to donate as much as they’d like. SantaCon is a great day out for those of age but the pure intentions of “Santa's Code” have never been lost. “Santa gives to charity, Santa spreads joy, and Santa is about peace.”

The MTA has warned participants of the ban on open alcohol containers on board the trains. Violators will be given summonses and will be removed from the trains  The NYC Police Department will have officers present on the street to deter people from drinking on NYC sidewalks. The NYPD has a long history of open containers and public intoxication fines during the Santa Con festivities. Santa Con’s website additionally warns participants to respect the bars and their staff during the crawl.


The charitable aspect partnered with the fun of a bar crawl is a terrific system to combine two of the most prominent aspects of the holiday season, joy and giving. Santa Con cares about New York City and its residents. The holidays should be a joyous time for all and SantaCon helps to make that happen.


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