How many santas can you fit on an island on a given Saturday? Well, if the island is Manhattan, infinte. Yes, holiday lovers and grinches alike, Santacon 2010 took place this past weekend and it was definitely a sight to behold. According to the website, 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 is an annual convention for Santa and his holiday brethren. It went on to say to that holiday cheer, unconventional gifts, naughty carols and general mayhem were to be expected. They asked that you not expect to be entertained: Santa IS the entertainment! And with that, I tapped into their twitter feed and got into Santa love-fest mode.
The interpretations of Santa, his helpers, elves, and all things Christmas was endless and wildly imaginative. Hannukah Harry decked out in blue made an appearance as he represented. The mood was truly festive and fun. Everyone wished one and other the happiest of holidays. Balloons were pumped and released. Impromptu musical sets took place in Sheridan Square over loud, boisterous chants of Ho! Ho! Ho! Even the assigned NYPD crew were on their best jovial behavior as they subtly requested that you keep it moving and on the sidewalk. The fortunate bars along the path were jammed with happy frolickers enjoying holiday brew and in some cases, participating in campy holiday sing alongs.
I popped into one bar to check out the scene first hand. It was a jam-packed sea of red. If there had been an old fashioned telephone booth, I am sure they would have crammed into that too. I managed to get out of the bar in one piece and from that point on, observed the bar scenes from the street looking in. I mistakenly mentioned to one Santa I met the term, “bar crawl” and he immediately informed that a sugar plum fairy died every time someone uttered those two words. I begged for forgiveness, of course. Silly me!
Twitter updated fast and furious. Pacing yourself was a steady command. The day began at 10 a.m. and was destined to continue until the very wee hours of the evening at various hotspots around town. I eventually pulled away from the scene to grab a bite and soon found myself surrounded by red suits and cheap, white mustaches attached to beards. I watched and cheered on one crew of Santas who stood nearby as they began knocking back Sake bomb shots while recapping the day’s adventures. It had been a hilarious day, for sure. And, I will never look at the red and white color combination quite the same way ever again.
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