As we've previously noted in passing, SantaCon is by and large a cultural void that provides an excuse for binge drinkers and obnoxious bros to relive their undergraduate bar-crawling days all over the city, and all under the thin veneer of charity. Maybe you love it? Maybe you hate it? Well Merry Christmas and Happy Nightmares: it's happening again on December 14th.
For this has happened before and it shall happen again: as with previous years, the parade start location and route will not be revealed until shortly before the actual event. You can check their Facebook page for updates on that (you can also check their website for more updates). To their credit, SantaCon organizers have done their best to be more transparent about its workings in recent years in the face of increasing hostility from across the city, and they've made an effort to self-police participants' behavior with a code of conduct for Santas.
As has become the norm, organizers encourage people to make a donation to get access to all the official SantaCon NYC venues. As they tout on their website, they've raised over $450K for charity in the last nine years, and that's really great! Unfortunately, the charitable veneer may give some participants a license to act even worse. As commenter TimSPC put it a few years back, it's "like, 'this is for charity, I'll pee where I want to!'"
Having covered SantaCon over the years, we are all too aware that it's not all candy canes and sugar plums. We've witnessed plenty of coal-worthy conduct from participating Santa-bros: drunken brawling, a frightening amount of MAGA apparel, more nightmare street fights, the occasional robbery, and of course, Duane Reade handjobs.
SantaCon 2018 in Manhattan was not nearly as belligerent as years past, even if its continued existence is a source of dread for the majority of New Yorkers who just want to get through the day without someone drunkenly stumbling into them and smashing their face into the sidewalk.
But it was a relative walk in the park compared to the total sleighshow over in Hoboken, where 14 people were arrested, four officers were injured, 46 tickets were issued for moving violations, there were 33 summonses, and the cherry on top was a bloody brawl at a Johnny Rockets.