SantCon takes over the Streets of Seattle on December 18thThe Christmas season is in full effect in the Seattle area.

Maybe it’s the over-commercialization, or maybe people are just down, but it seems to have become hip to dread and bemoan the onslaught of Christmas. It’s become fashionable to complain about the Christmas displays that have been up for weeks in department stores across the country. But what about the multitude of Seattleites out there whose inner Santa is dying to get out, but remains bottled down for fear of being ostracized by co-workers, friends and family?

Well fear not – on December 18th the annual SantaCon festival hits the streets of Seattle, and you can get your Santa on with like-minded Kris Kringles.

SantaCon is part Flash Mob, part bar-crawl, and all about having fun and spreading Christmas cheer. Hundreds of Santas, and Mrs. Clauses, will don their red and roam the city stopping at several Seattle bars. The Santa mob seems to grow with each stop until it’s an unstoppable force of revelry. There are new, adult, versions of your favorite carols that will be sung, along with impromptu dance parties, gift giving and undoubtedly confused yet amused looks from Christmas shoppers.

Seattle resident Danny Gellerson, who has attended SantaCon the past few years, says: “For me… it’s kind of like getting lost in the Christmas spirit, blending with others in a uniform that represents the culture of the holidays and moving that spirit across the city.” SantaCon Santas are known to be full of the Christmas spirit, along with some grain based spirits, and passersby will feel the love. There usually is a lead Santa who will lead the group, with a bullhorn, through group activities, songs and other merriment.

SantaCon is a world-wide event, and most believe it was begun in San Francisco by The Suicide Group as Santarchy. It was then taken over by the Cacophony Society and changed to SantaCon, and the phenomenon had begun. If the idea of drunken Santas roaming the streets of Seattle has you worried, don’t worry, the SantaCon Santas have strict guidelines about behaving, not making kids cry, and having fun. There is a list of rules for would-be Santas which also includes addressing everyone as ‘Santa’ and ‘Ho Ho Ho’ing’.

Like their real life counterpart, SantaCon Santas come back every year as they cherish the memories made spreading cheer. Courtney Powell of Seattle recalls: “My favorite SantaCon memory was two years ago during Snowmeggdon 2008. The streets of downtown Seattle were virtually empty except for the merry bunch of 200 or so Santas parading through the streets. It feels like I am in a parallel universe full of Santas with plenty of holiday cheer. One of my favorite Christmas memories ever! I can’t wait for this year!”

If you want to let your free Santa flag fly you can get more information about where the fun starts, a list of carols and activities, information on where to get a Santa Suit, and of course bar stops at the Seattle SantaCon page. The festivities are set to begin at noon on the 18th; the starting location is yet to be determined but will be updated on Facebook.

UPDATE: There have been some confusing reports that this year’s SantaCon has been canceled.  Part of the fun of flash-mob-type events like this is that anyone can put up a Facebook page, and when one is shut down people think the fun is over.  But don’t fear, would-be Santas, as Seattle SantaCon is still going down on Saturday, December 18th according to the as-official-as-it’s-going-to-get Santacon page, and here as well.  Start time is noon at the Freemont Troll.  Be there or be a Grinch!

Culture SantaCon Hits Seattle On December 18th