Jeri’s Jackpot: The Wonder of SantaCon

   Merry Christmas, Jackpotians! It’s the holiday season, and yes, that big man in the red suit is coming to town. Or if you’re in just about any location in the world, several hundred thousand Santas are coming to town.

   SantaCon, as it’s affectionately known, is a gathering of people of all ages, races, genders and sizes coming together and dressing as Santa (or Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Frosty, etc.) in one place.

   For a more thorough description, SantaCon is an annual pub crawl that takes place in New York City and elsewhere, and can pretty much be considered a drunken mob.

   As an article in Village Voice stated, “SantaCon had evolved from ‘joyful performance art’ that originated in San Francisco to a ‘reviled bar crawl’ of drunken brawling, vandalism, public urination and disorder in New York City.” Sounds like every night in New York City to me.

   SantaCon started in 1994 in San Francisco as a prank. Thousands of people from the Cacophony Society, which was a local group of theater performers associated with the Discordianism movement.

   Over the years, SantaCon has grown from taking place solely in one city to now being spread all over the world. SantaCons range from being family friendly to being listed as adults only if alcohol is involved.

   Several cities have taken steps to either prepare for the event when it takes place or have banned the idea altogether.

   Over recent years, SantaCon organizers have hired “helper elves” or, people who are not allowed to drink and are in charge of wrangling the drunken party goers.

   Branching off from SantaCon, there are various other Santa themed events held around the world as well.

   Toronto, Canada has its own Santa festival and parade. Indiana has a town named after the big man himself and there are even people around the US who collect figurines of Santa.

   It doesn’t stop there though. There are people who are obsessed with Christmas – some to the point that it’s interfering with their lives.

   One man has worn a Santa hat every day for as long as he can remember, while a woman from “My Crazy Obsession” has several pounds of gingerbread in her house as she spends most of her days baking cookies or decorating gingerbread houses.

   Another man has 14,150 Christmas lights surrounding his house. And finally, a woman in Tulsa, Oklahoma surrounds her house with 168 fully decorated Christmas trees that she refers to as part of her family.

   Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St. Nick. No matter what you call the jolly old man who delivers presents to good little boys and girls around the world, there are festivals, parades and days celebrating him besides Christmas. He’s become a staple of the holiday season, and an iconic figure throughout the years.

   Merry Christmas, everyone. If you yourself attend SantaCon, or any of the related events, I wish you a holly jolly time, and remember to be safe!

Jeri Hensley
Graphic Designer

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