NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Christmastime tradition took over the city Saturday, as thousands gathered to give meaning to the phrase, “Eat, drink and be merry.”

Crowds gathered at drinking establishments across the city decked out in their best Santa attire for the annual SantaCon pub crawl. The event began at 10 a.m., with so many participants that there were multiple starting points, which were announced Friday night on the event’s Web site.

The thirsty Santas hit the bars for the Christmastime drinking bash, a tradition which began in San Francisco in 1994 and has since made it’s way to several other cities across the country.

As the official NYC SantaCon Web site states, “Santacon is a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.”

On Saturday, Santa imitators hit the bars not just in New York City, but in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.

Comments (17)
  1. nonwo says:

    As always this santa fed up with the federal brats always showing up with their spoiled rotten klans at santacon, for the past 5 years, never making a true santa friend, but at least someone did finally sit on santas lap

  2. Drew Carr says:

    This article does not represent reality.

    The event does not feature bars at all. I participated and expected more of a pub crawl atmosphere, but it wasn’t. The organizers did nothing to promote or endorse use of alcohol. We actually chose to dine at a couple of establishments in the City and I estimate that my friends and I (who came down from Connecticut) spent over $4,500, between food, transportation and lodging).

  3. Autumn says:

    As it also says on the website. SANTACON IS NOT A PUB CRAWL…dope. Sure Santa likes to drink with the rest of New Yorkers but it’s more than just a pub crawl. And just so you know, us Santas do some good. Hundreds bring nonperishable food for a food drive at the beginning points

  4. editrixabby says:

    Who wrote this piece? And are they getting paid? Cause they could sure use an editor! Like ME, perhaps?

  5. TIM says:

    I can imagine what was on the menue. Pizza? fried eggplant strips? How come they always show some bimbo too? how about a very attractive looking very hairy, middle aged state trooper. Id get on my knees and show him all the appreciation they deserve.

  6. Charles_nyc says:

    SantaCon – definition: a bunch of loud drunken people dressed as Santa Claus,
    acting like jerks. So, the spirit of Christmas has morphed into this degradation.
    Ho, Ho, Ho.

  7. Nick says:

    They invaded STITCH and Houndstooth Bars on 37th and 8th Avenue.
    It was crazy !! Great idea Santa for making you relevant again.

  8. shakeybear says:

    I love it. People getting together and socializing face to face instead of doing it electronically.

  9. Cara says:

    I am grateful that my three-year-old granddaughter doesn’t live in NYC! What a confusing sight Santacon must be for the city kids who DO live there.

    1. Adrie says:

      Cara – all the kids we saw loved it – we smiled and waved and they smiled and waved back.

      1. Kris Kringle says:

        In addition to non-perishables..Several of us actually carry a big red sack… to give to the kids we see throughout the day.. I tell these children that we are Santa’s helpers, and the big man gave us a day off before the holiday rush starts.. Since he is back a the North Pole making toys.. It’s not all about drinking..

  10. Pooky says:

    Santacom was news to me–but I loved it! A dozen Santas got on the subway car I was riding and there were more on the platforms of each station we passed. Hundreds (thousands?) converged down in the village. What an incredible sight!

    1. john says:

      this website is so desperate for income that it tags someones PERSONAL comment with an advertising link ??? that’s pathetic

  11. Steve says:

    Hugio you are a LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Scrooge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. HUGO says:

    What a bunch of losers.

  13. tori says:

    Also it’s not just in the U.S.

  14. tori says:

    Didn’t it start in Portland, Oregon?

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