This Saturday was the third time Fort Lauderdale celebrated the annual Christmas-themed pub crawl, SantaCon. We were already dedicated to participating before it was brought to our attention that there've been some mixed feelings about the nationwide event.
Some people, particularly certain bar owners, feel as though the event has gotten out of hand. This distain derives primarily from the bar fights, public urination, and vomiting, along with all around sloppiness, that some claim comes with the SantaCon territory. People have even gone so far as to make anti-SantaCon websites. Others, however, feel differently. Norman Siegel, civil rights attorney, defends the rights of SantaCon attendees and stated in an episode of The Daily Show that these Santas do have a right to parade the streets.
Regardless of what anyone says, SantaCon initially started as a satirical prank. In 1994, Santas rallied against the commercialization of Christmas in San Francisco with 34 participants crashing elite parties to "shock people." The event was not intended to be a reoccurring booze fest, but ten years later, the event is still going strong. In fact, with the numbers of attendees growing exponentially over the years, the event is even stronger than in earlier years.
Despite the criticism SantaCon has received, we still believe that there are more pros than cons. Sure, there are some bad Santas out there that tend to give it a bad rap, but there are just as many good Kris Kringles as naughty ones. We may not be able to keep a naughty or nice list like Jordan Klepper suggests on the aforementioned Daily Show segment, but we found joy in SantaCon. Here's how.
5. SantanCon Donates to Kids in Need
Maybe it was FOMO that got you off Netflix and down to Himmarshee on a lazy Saturday night, but the fact that SantaCon involves itself in giving back to the community is even more incentive to press pause and slather on red and green garb.
SantaCon Fort Lauderdale encourages attendees to bring donations of gift cards, clothing, linens, school supplies, sports equipment, and more to local nonprofit, Kids in Distress. As of now, the group raised $750 in donations, although the Facebook event page states that over $1,000 was received. To donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/santaconftl.
4. You Can Dress Up
Dressing up is fun all year 'round, but it is not always socially acceptable to don a costume, much less Santa gear. Creativity has no limits at SantaCon, and there were plenty of people who exercised their brain muscles on Saturday. We saw Christmas tutus, inflatable reindeer and even human reindeer.
3. Christmas Cheer
With the stress of Christmas shopping, the expenses that come with it, and the never-ending questions from noisy relatives ("So why aren't you married?"), it's hard to stay in the holiday spirit. Sure, you can watch Elf or The Santa Clause or even belt out Christmas tunes, but some adult celebrations are in store. And what better way to get in the spirit than with actual people. It's a good time to spend with friends and maybe even meet a new elf buddy.
2. Drink Specials
Cocktails can get pricey, and that makes staying in so much more appealing. But with SantaCon, drink specials can be as low as $3, which pales in comparison to $12 cocktails that have barely any alcohol in them. It also doesn't hurt that the bars are within walking distance of each other, so you don't have to worry about driving to each spot.
Worried about the drive home? Download the Uber app on your phone and have a driver pick you up in under ten minutes. SantaCon Fort Lauderdale even had a promo code for new users.
1. All Around Good Time
SantaCon falls right before Christmas, but not too close that you'll be hungover on the day of. It's a good time to let loose right before the stuffy relatives come over, and it gives you enough time to recuperate. If you want memories (you remember) to last a lifetime and plenty of laughs with crazy costumes, SantaCon is the perfect event. And that's the best reason we should continue to indulge in it.