Q: WTF is Santacon?
A: SantaCon is a weird and wonderful flash-mobby style annual bar crawl that takes place in dozens of cities all over the world. Basically people show up to a series of pre-determinded bars dressed as Santa and have a jolly old time.
Q: Who started SantaCon?
A: The first SantaCon took place in San Francisco in 1994 and was sponsored by The San Francisco Cacophony Society. You can read more about the history of SantaCon here.
Q: Who started the Chicago Santacon?
A: A mysterious figure known as "Santa Tom" started the event in 2005. After a few years, his pal Santa Joey took over and and he's been running it ever since.
Q: So is this whole thing just a sloppy, drunken clusterf*ck?
A: No. Ok, some Santacons get pretty ugly but the Downtown Chicago SantaCon has never been about getting hammered or causing trouble. Our Santas are fun, friendly and well-behaved.
Q: "Downtown Chicago SantaCon?" Wait, does that mean Chicago has more than one SantaCon?
A: Sort of. Two years ago a Santa from San Fransisco moved to Chicago and decided to start his own SantaCon. It happens in Logan Square later in December.
Q: Ok, so how much does SantaCon cost?
A: The original, downtown Chicago SantaCon is free. You don't need to buy a ticket or a wristband or make a donation to charity. All you gotta do is pay for your own drinks.
Q: Do I need to pre-register?
A: Yes, it would be helpful. The bars appreciate it when we can give them an estimated head count beforehand. You can RSVP on our Facebook page.
Q: Do I really need to wear a Santa suit?
A: You HAVE to wear some kind of Christmas-themed outfit. You can be Santa or Mrs. Claus or an elf or a reindeer or Krampus or a Christmas tree or a snowman etc, etc, etc. You just need to make a real effort. You can't play with us if you show up just wearing a Santa hat and a red t-shirt.
Q: I can't make it right at noon. Can I join you later? How will I find you?
A: You can join us at any time. We follow our schedule closely so just look at where we're supposed to be and go there. Look for a GIANT CROWD OF SANTAS.
Please remember to follow the Santa Code:
Santa wears a costume: Full, head-to-toe and holiday themed. None of that “just a hat” bullsh*t.
Santa is AWESOME to bar staff! Pay with cash. It gets chaotic when Santa comes to town. Tip Well. Bring ID.
Santa is of legal drinking age. Leave the kids at home.
Santa takes public transport or a car sharing services. Remember, this is a bar crawl. Don't drink and drive!
Santa spreads JOY: Not terror. Not vomit. Not trash. Would you want those under YOUR tree?
Santa leaves no trace: Put trash/recycle into cans and clean up after your reindeer!
Santa is about PEACE. Not Fighting. Should you find yourself in conflict with anyone, just walk away.
Santa’s nice to kids: He makes them laugh, not cry….BECAUSE HE IS SANTA CLAUS (DUH).
Santa respects the city: Santa doesn’t piss on the streets, start fights, block streets, climb on cars, or deface property.
Santa respects the Police. Be nice to them and do not break laws.
King Santa calls the shots: When King Santa says it's time to move to the next location, move out and don't linger.
Santa comes prepared: with comfy shoes, cash, and layers of clothing for frosty winter weather.
Santa stays safe: Santa does not drink more than Santa can handle. Doing so endangers Santa’s self, Santa’s friends, and the future of Santacon.
Santa is Santa! You are Santa. Santa is Santa. Santa addresses all other Santacon participants as…SANTA!
If someone asks you what's going on, just tell them "It's Christmas!"