Santacon is essentially the excuse for dozens of increasingly drunken New Yorkers to dress up as a variation on St. Nick (or any holiday-themed icon) and prance around the city, amusing and/or scaring unsuspecting tourists and citizens. The 2008 edition started off with a quick visit to the 34th Street Post Office, before swarming throughout Manhattan with holiday chaos and cheer. Santa was spotted at Macy's, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central, accosting beer trucks and investigating many bars along the way.
(This Santa/photographer in particular had a rather unpleasant experience when his visit to Grand Central ended in handcuffs and a holding cell. Guess some NYPD don't like to have their photo taken while corralling Santas.)
The festivities migrated down to South Street Seaport next, where Santas were seen posing with tourists, jumping rope, hula-hooping, practicing capoeira and enjoying cold beverages. A crew of Grinches showed up and were moving targets for a three-man slingshot launching shaving-cream balloons. Just behind the Grinch-shooting-range, sharp Santas would have noticed a rouge Santa who climbed his way to the top of a mast in the harbor.
Santa then stumbled down to the Staten Island Ferry and enjoyed a scenic ride while being able to legally drink in public. The bawdy sounds of the Stumblebum Brass Band whipped up a feverish dance party on top of the seats and the line at the snack/beer bar never seemed to get any shorter.
Santos' Party House hosted the final stop for Santa, opening its doors up for a free party featuring a live band and DJs on both floors. Sloppy making out, table-top go-go-ing, and even some brief fights punctuated the close-to-a-very-merry Santacon. —Tod Seelie