ADULTS ONLY (MOSTLY)
Unless explicitly stated you must assume that every SantaCon event is for adults - where guys & girls of legal age dress up like Santa and go cavorting around town for no better reason than that it's huge fun.
That having been said, some SantaCons are family friendly, some cater to children, some raise money for good causes and some will even let you bring your dog (dressed as Santa of course)!
Our website - SantaCon.info - is not involved in the organization of any actual SantaCon events. It's an information service only (and we can't even guarantee the information is correct, we just do our best).
Use SantaCon.info to find a SantaCon to attend and then find out what the organizers of that particular event are saying.
ADVICE FROM SANTA
It's a good idea to have someone's cell number in case you get lost from the group or need to find a meetup point at an off-time. Network with other santas and get their numbers ahead of time.
Pay with Cash! - Just imagine if you're a bartender trying to keep up with dozens of tabs and everyone looks like Santa. It'll make life easier for you too because you won't have to tab out when it comes time to leave. Some of the places on Santa's list might be very quick stops - 1 hour or less - so running a tab will lead to time being wasted or you being left behind.
Q: What is SantaCon?
A: SantaCon is your opportunity to be Santa!
Q: Is this some kind of political statement?
A: No. It's fun and only fun.
Q: Who's in charge?
HOW IT BEGAN
The first SantaCon took place in San Francisco in 1994 and was sponsored by The San Francisco Cacophony Society.
The original inspiration came from an earlier SF adventure club called The Suicide Club who's founder came up with the idea after reading an article about a Danish political who mobbed a Copenhagen Department store just before Christmas. However, the first American and all subsequent SantaCons around the world are non-political, purely surreal Santa prank events.
Read the full story here
For more information about SantaCon, you can consult this Wikipedia article:
SantaCon.info was founded in 2008 by Santa Ian (webmaster) to keep track of a few SantaCons in the eastern USA for himself and his friends.
As more & more people/santas found the site useful, Santa Ian decided to take on the bigger responsibility of running the site as a service to santas around the world.
Santa Ian has previously tracked down Santa in Kusuamo, Lapland (northern Finland)...
Most vendors welcome Santa with open arms. Nobody welcomes Drunk-in-Public Santa, not even Santa.
If you're under the misapprehension that drunk santas are the rule rather than the exception then the folks over at Hater Eater.com have created an anti-Santa campaign just for you.
For your convenience, these anti-Santa posters are parodied reproduced below:
Santa does not make children cry. Really, if you see kids, don't do anything to freak them out. Give them a nice smile and possibly a gift of some kind (toys, candy etc). Parents and tourists are a different matter altogether - adjust your behavior based on their attitude.
Santa dresses for all occasions. It's December. Smart santas wear multiple costume layers. Dress to maximize merriment whether singing Christmas carols in the snow, or swinging from a stripper pole in a hot nightclub.
Santa doesn't whine! We will be outside a lot and commuting mainly on foot - bring enough "snacks" to keep your pie-hole filled until we get indoors.
Bring gifts: NAUGHTY gifts to give grown ups; NICE stuff to give kids. Throwing coal at people is discouraged no matter who they are. YES THAT INCLUDES POLITICIANS. But giving out coal might actually be appreciated.
Watching santa be jolly & merry is fun. Babysitting santa while he vomits in an alley is not. Don't be that santa.
Make sure you always tip the bar staff. We want to be able to do this again so be polite and cultivate the goodwill of the local community.
Please pay for your drinks as soon as you get them. Santas get tired of waiting on other santas to clear their tab before being able to move on. This entire adventure should be cash only.
"No santa's left behind!" Don't think only of yourself - Santa is not inconsiderate of his fellow santas like that. Pick a few people you know and keep an eye out for them when it's time to move to the next location. If you don't see them, speak up so other santas know to wait a moment. Every santa should have at least 2-3 other santas they look out for and 2-3 that look out for them in turn.
Stay with the group. It's not just a case of "the more, the merrier" - Santa is safer with large numbers of fellow santas and what one santa can't achieve (or get away with) is a possibility for 50 or more!
Dress up! You don't have to dress exactly like Santa. In fact, unusual interpretations of Santa-ness are much appreciated, both by those we bring joy to - as well as your fellow santas: elves, reindeer themes etc. are fine as well!
Please remember that this is all about having fun. Most santas like to take their fun with a little alcohol which is fine. What is not fine, however, is getting completely sh#t-faced to the point that santas end up being abusive or violent. Remember that there is no "bail fund" for incarcerated santas and if you cross the line you'll be on your own.
Santa doesn't drink & drive and neither should you. If you're going to drink you must make sure that you can get safely home without driving yourself. Check public transport, carpool with a designated sober driver, make arrangements to sleep over at someone's place etc. Organizers sometimes try to coordinate transportation to get santas safely home. Check the message boards and groups for your local SantaCon to find out if this is being done in your area.
You MUST address everyone as "Santa."
You SHOULD "ho-ho-ho" like Santa.
You OUGHT to give out gifts like Santa.
You MIGHT want to drink like Santa
Read these guidelines one more time.
If you have reached this rule, it means you didn't get locked into a loop reading the guidelines over and over again as per the previous rule. You are therefore intelligent enough to take part in SantaCon!
Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
SantaCon background information and a little recent history....
Santas set world record!
More than 13,000 santas set a Guinness World Record in Ireland on December 9th, 2007.
In 2006, something like 70,000 santas took over Moscow but it seems that the Guinness people weren't there.