Santacon comes to town: ‘We really just want to have fun with each other’

Local News

NEW YORK — The city that never sleeps looked a lot more like Tinseltown, as revelers from around the region showed up ready to party in their favorite Santa costumes.

That’s right: Santacon was back in New York City.

The festival returned Saturday, as armies of revelers bar-hopped in their best Santa Claus get-ups.

“It’s electric,” participant Josh Miller said. “The city is back … it’s so much fun!”

The red-and-white flashmob across Midtown brought out the holiday cheer in New Yorkers like Miller, a student at St. John’s.

He and his buddies rang in the festivities by visiting businesses that have fallen victim to COVID-19.

And for those who put “love” on their Christmas list this year, Santacon teamed up with the new dating app MeetNorth. It’s designed as New York City’s first spontaneous in-person dating app, and it’s aimed at connecting the tens of thousand of people who participate in Santacon festivities.

This year, there were consequences to any bad Santas who went a little too hard during the tipsy tradition: Police issued $25 tickets to anyone drinking alcoholic beverages on the streets, and both the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North have banned alcohol through Sunday afternoon.

Additionally, the city’s vaccine requirements remain in place, which means before the Christmas characters indulge in a festive cocktail or two, they’ll need to show proof of vaccination to enter a bar
or venue.

“I actually just got the booster, so I feel safe,” participant Raymond Cheeze said.

Safety came first for the Santa-clad partgoers, who showed up ready to their best lives.

“We really just want to have fun with each other … and getting dressed up is the best part,” Chandini Pillai said.

All participants made a $13 donation, which will benefit several charities around the city.

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