San Francisco

Anti-SantaCon Signs Pop Up in San Francisco Ahead of Annual Celebration

It started in San Francisco and spread around the world but SantaCon has since come under fire.

On Dec. 12, thousands of people dressed like Santa Claus – as well as reindeer, elves, snowmen, Christmas trees and Mrs. Claus – will descend upon Union Square and fan out to bars in all directions.

But many believe the annual celebration is merely a glorified pub crawl featuring too many bad actors.

"They litter the streets, throw up in the gutter, start fights," said David H. "It's gross."

Would-be Santas have been gathering in San Francisco since 1994 as a way of protesting the commercialization of Christmas. But now, signs that declare "No Love For SantaCon" are popping up in bars and restaurants to ward off the debauchery associated with SantaCon.

But there are others who are looking forward to it.

SantaCon kicks off with participants dropping off gifts at the San Francisco Fire Department’s toy drive. More than 3,000 toys were donated last year.

"I love SantaCon," said Sally Casazza, the toy drive’s chairperson. "It's a great icebreaker for men and women. We reap the benefits of it by getting toys we wouldn't have had otherwise."

Meanwhile, the SantaCon website advises people to, among other things, have fun, avoid getting drunk in public and not mess with police. But it also asks revelers to not take the guidelines too seriously.

Contact Us