SantaCon 2013 is happening in 317 cities in 44 countries around the world. The event brings Santas together for revelry, comradeship and a good cause. SantaCon participants can donate $10 and participating bars and venues also contribute a portion of their proceeds for the day to local charities.
SantaCon 2013 starts Friday in eight cities, and in earnest on Saturday, with hundreds of events, including in New York City, Toronto, Beijing, Sydney, Zurich, Prague, Paris, Hong Kong, Dublin, London, Tokyo, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Washington and Ho Chi Minh City. A second wave of SantaCon events will take place on Dec. 21 in Philadelphia, Miami, Brooklyn, Seattle, Atlanta and elsewhere.
The event has drawn a backlash New York with several bars and neighborhoods declaring "Santa Free" zones. The Lower East Side has been the most vocal in its opposition to SantaCon, reports the New York Observer. LES Dwellers has established "AntiCon" for "Hell Square," defined by the organization as "the 9 block area bounded by Houston Street, Delancey Street, Allen Street and Essex Street."
New York SantaCon organizers have been working with city officials and getting permits. The event has the backing of the New York Police Department, notes the New York Daily News, and the organizers said there will be a "Santa Secret Service" staff on hand helping to bring some order to the proceedings. The $10 donation will go to the New York Food Bank, Figment Arts Festival, World Hoop Day and neighborhood charities.
While SantaCon has kept the wraps on the exact route and participating venues for the NYC event, the Daily News has a SantaCon source that offered some clues and a general sense of where thousands of Santas will be headed Saturday. According to the the paper, SantaCon NYC will start in Tompkins Square Park and will continue through the East Village and Lower East Side with the last stop in Brooklyn. The first location will be revealed at midnight.
For those participating in the event, SantaCon organizers have set up dedicated location pages, which can be found here. The SantaCon Twitter feed will also update Santas on where to head next. An official SantaCon App, available for iOS and Android devices, will also provide updates for the event in your city.