The red coats are coming! The red coats are coming!
Jolly holiday party people convened in San Francisco on Saturday for SantaCon an “…event known for being both naughty and nice.” HUNDREDS of Santas met at noon by the Christmas tree in Union Square and then paraded to other neighborhoods, spreading holiday cheer inside retail stores and drinking in bars that dared to admit them!
Jonathon Eros, a San Francisco native who has attended the event since the ’80s, brandished three whips with Christmas trees on them and wore a devil’s tail on his “Santan” costume. He said his favorite part is seeing people in creative outfits arrive, “before things start to get weird.”
“People put a lot of time and effort into creating some pretty bizarre things,” Eros said. “I certainly don’t go for the bar crawling.”
Though many were dressed in traditional St. Nick garb, others went for a tie-dye Santa suit or reindeer costumes, or as “elf wenches.” Another wore a six-pack of beer for a belt, while many were more discreet in sneaking a drink with police officers nearby.
Attending SantaCon for the third time, Alice Halbert, Lynn McAllister and Chris Contant strummed “Mele Kalikimaka” – that’s “Merry Christmas” in Hawaiian – on their ukuleles and posed for pictures with other Santas. Wearing red grass skirts and leis, the women called themselves the “Hawaiian Santas,” and brought socks and gloves to hand out to the homeless, candy canes for children and a “grown-up treat” – a bottle of fireball cinnamon whiskey.
Among the drinking establishments, there were apparently two trains of thought. Some local bars had a “no Santas” policy, but other packed in the Santas, who shared pitchers of mimosas!
Although many businesses were warned in advance, the Santa onslaught confused many tourists.
Expect to see just about ANYTHING in San Francisco!
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