NYC Santacon 2012

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Ho-ho-holy crap there’s a lot of us!
20,000 Santas is too many to move as a group, so expect some changes for 2012.

Bigger can be better (if you rub it the right way).



In 2011, Santa raised $10,000 for Toys for Tots and donated over 6,000 lbs of food to Manhattan and Brooklyn food banks.
The charitable mayhem continues this December.—

Be sure to bring canned food to donate, or buy and donate some during the day! NYC food banks really need Santa’s support with the supplies running low due to Sandy as they head into the holidays.

Santacon is a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.


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What is Santacon?
Santacon is a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.It’s your chance to spread holiday cheer in the most magical and absurd way possible.

What isn’t Santacon?
Santacon is not a bar crawl. Every time you call it that, a sugarplum fairy dies.

Do I have to dress as Santa?
Santa only gets jolly with those in full, head-to-toe costume.
Just wearing a Santa hat doesn’t cut it – you will be jeered off the sleigh.

Can I be an elf or toy soldier or dreidel instead?
Ho-ho-hell yes. Santa loves creativity.
Check out Stories from Santacon for some favorites from years past.

When is Santacon?
Saturday, December 15th, 2012. Starts early, goes late.

What should I bring?
– At least two non-perishable food items for Santa’s food drive.
– Comfortable footwear.
– A Metrocard.
– Cash for food and drinks. Stops will be too crowded to use a credit card.
– (Tip bartenders and waitstaff well for putting up with Santa!)- Gifts, games, props, and performances to entertain Santas and strangers alike.
– Your jolly fucking Christmas spirit.

What shouldn’t I bring?
– Open containers of alcohol. You will be arrested, and Santa won’t feel sorry for you.
– Your douchebag friends (cool friends who drink responsibly and respect others are fine).

What can I do to prepare?
– Make a costume.
– Read Stories From Santacon for ideas and inspiration (
– Follow Santa’s twitter ( )
– You can receive Santa’s tweets via SMS text message by texting “follow @santacon” to 40404.
– Print out or download the Dirty Carol Book (coming soon).
– Get a good night’s sleep and eat a big breakfast.
– Know your limits and pace yourself. If you plan to drink, do so responsibly.
– Plan to keep an eye on your friends and fellow Santa!
– Watch Santacon: True or False (
– DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE (it’s Christmas for fucks sake.)

Where do I sign up?
Sign up in person at the North Pole, two sleigh-lengths past Rudolph’s stable and just outside of the candy cane forest.
Or, watch and follow @santacon on Twitter to find out where to go.

How do I sign up for text message alerts from Santa’s Twitter?
If you want Santa’s tweets to be sent to your phone via SMS text message, you can text “follow @santacon” to 40404.
You can later text “unfollow @santacon” to 40404 to stop receiving tweets.

Click here for a full list of Twitter SMS commands.

Santa says to expect some changes this year. What’s he talking about?
In the past, all Santas traveled as a group and nobody knew where Santa was going except for Santa.

This year, Santa will post a loose route about a week before Santacon. You’ll be able to see which neighborhoods Santa plans to visit, when Santa will be there, and a list of recommended venues and activities for each. Santa will still tweet when it’s time to move to the next area, plus send red-nosed bulletins throughout the day.

Santa encourages you to guide your own sleigh – you can plan a route for yourself and your elves ahead of time, or just show up at the start point and see where the holiday spirit takes you.

Why the change?
According to the North Pole Analytics Division, approximately 20,000 Santas participated in Santacon last year. Trying to squeeze so much Santa belly through one route resulted in overcrowding, traffic problems, trash problems, and traumatized New Yorkers.

Santa hopes that a less compressed route will make life easier for people who live and work in the neighborhoods Santa visits.

Santa also wants to make life easier for fellow Santa! Posting the route ahead of time means Santa can spend less time trying to get into packed venues, meet up with his elves, and follow the crowd … and more time having a holly-jolly Christmas.

Santa still strongly recommends starting at the start point. It’s the only time of day when all Santas will be together in one spot, and the spectacle of many thousand Santas is not to be missed.

I own a venue in NYC. Can I host Santa?
If your venue is along Santa’s route and you are willing to donate a portion of the day’s profits to Toys for Tots, then yes! Fill out Santa’s form for venue owners and an elf will get back to you.

I want to market my business to Santa. Can I buy ad space on
No. Never. Santa is not for sale.

Have a question that isn’t answered here?
Send mail to
(Questions that are answered here will be ignored, as will your stocking this Christmas.)

Santa does not accept corporate sponsorship.