It’s not whether you’ve been naughty or nice – it whether Santa and his merry band of reasonable facsimiles will once again cause havoc in the streets that’s the concern. SantaCon is a growing international event where participants dress up in Santa suites and the like. These Santas and elves take to the streets en masse every December for one full day.
As Santarchy: The legacy of drunken Santas notes, SantaCon was inspired by the Danish activist theatre group in 1974. They state:
“A surrealist, Dadaist theatre group, known as Solvognen, staged a clever demonstration to protest the commercialization and corruption of Christmas. Solvognen consisted of about 35 “artists” from Freetown Christiania, an anarchist community outside of Copenhagen.“
Since 1974, SantaCon has spread to several hundred cities around the world, including New York, London and Vancouver. Some critics have come to dread the annual event because of the widespread drunkenness and sporadic violence. Some simply want it stopped.
It’s not all bad though. The SantaCon event raises thousands of dollars for charity through partnerships with participating bars. Most Santas are jolly and nice. As someone who has observed it first hand, I have to say that it was a lot of fun. No one urinated or vomited on or near me – perhaps it was a good year.
This year the New York SantaCon has hired a civil rights lawyer to defend St. Nicks. Usually this event avoids talking to the media. However, their statement is as follows”
"While this event will always poke fun at society and the overly-commercialized aspects of the holiday (culture jamming), Santa and the Elves are working closely with city officials, the Parks Department and NYPD on better formats to manage the event while growing it as a much beloved annual tradition for the city."
Many critics remain skeptical, and predict that this year’s SantaConners will once again create chaos, and disillusion many young children. If you can handle the event whether it’s naughty or nice, You can check for SantaCon dates and locations near you.
This week's illustration topic is SantaCon. It was illustrated with digital paint and one of my photos. It can also be found on the 52 Week Illustration Challenge, picks of Week 50.