Here comes Santacon, here comes Santacon, but December 7 could be a date which will live in infamy as the event is again unpermitted and loosely organized.
Few San Francisco events have worn out their welcome quite like the annual Santa Claus-themed pub crawl Santacon. Once a holly, jolly, and inspired prank event cooked up by the revered culture jammers of the Cacophony Society (and in 2011 had enough holiday packages to make a run at the Guinness World Record for Largest Gathering of Naked Santas), the event has been moved to the Naughty List in recent years for increasingly loutish, entitled, and drunken behavior. By 2012, bars were printing Eater SF’s No Santas sign to nix the Saint Nicks, and in 2014, red-faced organizers declared Santacon dead. The then-official Santacon SF Twitter account announced “RIP SantaCon. It started here, it ends here. 1994-2014.”
But apparently it ain’t over ‘til the fat man gropes someone, pees in your bushes, and gets thrown out of a bar. Another back-door Santa named Tom DiBell has picked up the sack and has organized the event in the wake of the above declaration of death, this year under the guise of a Facebook group called SantaCon San Francisco 2019 December 7th. As seen in the post below, the Con is on for December 7. “I want to make sure that ALL YOU SANTAS OUT THERE help to make the 25th Anniversary of SantaCon the best ever,” DiBell says in a post to that group. “I’m going to meet with the police and try to assuage their fears and let them know that we are far more responsible than in years past.”
That may be, but Curbed SF has confirmed that Santacon 2019 has no Rec and Parks permits. This is similar to the “Santacon is canceled” controversy that preceded last year’s event, though that even still went on — for better and worse.
Retweet and help figure out who these drunk #santacon partiers are, they assaulted an employee and trashed my favorite Pakistani restaurant in #SF after they were asked to leave for loitering on Saturday night pic.twitter.com/RiknV1v8Mv— Taylor Savvy (@taylorsavvy) December 10, 2018
As KPIX reported in 2018, at the time two deplorable Santas trashed Shalimar restaurant on Polk Street, an incident complete with incriminating video of red-capped revelers throwing a glass sugar dispenser at staff. That employee reportedly suffered a black eye.
This is indeed the 25th Santacon, a tradition that KQED explains started in San Francisco in 1994 under the name “Cheap Suit Santas,” and has since spread to dozens of cities. More discerning (old) veterans of previous Santacons have seemingly replaced that pub crawl with something called SF Krampus, celebrating Santa’s more satanic alterego, which has events on both December 7 and December 14. But it looks like the Santas will be out on Saturday, December 7, so consider that the bar scene that day is something ‘yule’ want to avoid.
Image: dayabay via Flickr