Santas suit up for SantaCon 2017 in New York City


You better not pout, I’m telling you why: SantaCon has hit New York and you’re going to run into them regardless of where you are. The annual holiday-themed barcrawl kicked off in NYC on Dec. 9, 2017, as hundreds of Santa Clauses, elves, reindeers, and more made their way around the city for a day of debauchery.

SantaCon, a giant bar crawl that encourages grown men and women to dress in Santa Claus costumes in more than 100 cities around the world, descended on New York City this weekend. Dating back to 1994 and created by the same group that started Burning Man, SantaCon was originally meant to serve as a commentary on consumerism.

But, the event has taken on a life of its own, with an estimated 30,000 Santas attending — some even coming from other states to do so. It has now become one of the most hated bar crawls in New York, often leading to public urinating, fights, and Santas passing out in subway stations.

This year, New York’s version of the annual crawl took place in Midtown, during the season’s first snow.

Chris Metts, an event coordinator at The Liberty, was excited that the crawl was happening in Midtown again this year. Metts told Business Insider that the bar orders more alcohol — specifically, Jameson and Fireball — in preparation.

“There’s a lot of Fireball at SantaCon,” he said. The bar also prefers canned beers over draft because, according to Metts, “they’re easier to go, and quicker to give out.”

When asked about the crackdown on open containers that was planned for the subway and the area’s commuter train systems ahead of SantaCon this year, Metts said he hadn’t heard about it.

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“Good luck to them,” he said.

Having never been to SantaCon, I bravely ventured out, walking the streets of Midtown in the early afternoon to see what kind of debauchery had already started in the city.


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