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News / City Life

SantaCon will return to NYC on December 12; there are still no miracles on 34th Street

SantaCon 2012
Photographer: Phyllis B. Dooney SantaCon 2012

With the recent announcement of Billy Bob Thornton's return for a Bad Santa sequel, it's only fitting that NYC's own Bad Santas declare their inevitable comeback. That's right: the hot mess parade of fake red velvet known as SantaConis sleighing into town on December 12. The winter costume gathering and pub crawl originated in San Francisco in 1994, but has gained particular notoriety in New York as an annual showcase of Christmas gone wrong; a warning to tourists and politicians that turning the city into a shopping mall only ends in horror. With last year's route starting in Times Square, how bad could it possibly get? 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to SantaCon in NYC 

After Comic Con, Halloween, Back to the Future Day and every other bananas costume event to hit the streets ever year, you'd think New York would be desensitized to the manic shenanigans of its many costume-happy citizens. For participants, there's a certain charm to taking their childhood memories for an R-rated ride. But for many, the all-day red-nosed rampage is one step too far. Dreading deluges of morose Santas prone to sexual harassment, street vomit and public altercations, some neighborhoods and bars have flat-out banned SantaCon participants from crossing their paths.  

In SantaCon's defense, the event's required donation for all participants does rack up a mint for the charitable causes it supports, with more than $60,000 raised at 2013's march. However, some proceeds have gone towards covering legal fees, with convention organizers recruiting civil rights attorney Norman Siegel to help them face off city council members and bar owners. Organizers are working with city officials to make this year's event more palatable and less entropic. 

SantaCon's organizers have shared another set of "Santa Codes" on the site in the hopes of inspiring goodwill and respect in its participants ("Santa spreads JOY. Not Terror. Not Vomit. Not Trash. Would You Want those under YOUR tree?"). The Santacon site also features a misogynist songbook that includes catchy and grotesque numbers like "Ho Ho Ho" and "Hard and Deep" (to the tune of "Silent Night").

No route has been announced yet. For updates on the impending Christmas carnage, follow @santacon on twitter. Be sure to check out our pictures from last year's SantaCon. 

 

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