Year of 2017

SantaCon in Union Square, San Francisco, California

Did a reindeer-drawn sleigh provide this aerial view of SantaCon, the annual Santa convention shown here in San Francisco’s Union Square? If it did, then a certain Saint Nick would have observed crowds of merrymakers in Santa suits, gathering for a parade and pub crawl. SantaCon events occur in most US cities and even around the world, a tradition that started in 1994. On occasion, the gatherings have gotten out of hand and some celebrants ended up on the naughty list. Be careful out there!

SantaCon is an annual pub crawl in which people dressed in Santa Claus costumes or as other Christmas characters parade in several cities around the world. A December 2014 cover story in the Village Voice recounted how SantaCon had evolved from “joyful performance art” that originated in San Francisco to a “reviled bar crawl” of drunken brawling, vandalism, public urination and disorder in New York City and elsewhere, resulting in fierce community resistance and disavowals from the originators of the event.