SantaCon = Surreality

There’s something about being surrounded by thousands of people dressed up like Santa Claus in Washington Square at 3 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon that felt like I was in some weird movie. I saw red in every direction I looked for blocks and blocks. The setting sun gave a golden tone to the afternoon’s festivities, as the whole lot of jolly Santas, elves, reindeer and anything else you can imagine pertaining to Christmas. This was my first SantaCon ever – and San Francisco was definitely the fitting place to experience it.

The festivities began a bit after noon at the Civic Center. Most Santas had already started drinking before they left home. Afterwards, all the Santas dispersed into various “zones” throughout the city. The zones were located in the Castro, the Tenderloin/Polk Gulch, Northbeach and Downtown. One of the major attractions was the supposed gathering of the most “naked” Santas ever at 3 p.m. in Washington Square in North Beach. The idea was to make it into the Guiness Book of World Records for the most naked Santas in a public place. However, I was there at 3 p.m. and not too many people were naked. Then the time got pushed back to 4:30 p.m. But in the end, I only saw a handful of naked people strutting their stuff. Perhaps, it was too cold and all the guys were embarrassed. Perhaps they just need that one hot naked chick to get it all started. But low and behold, we did find this one lady who was down to show off her fake boobs and pretty much made these two young fellas day!


The Real Santa made his way through the square around 4 p.m. Everyone went nuts and chased him and wanted to shake his hand. Although there were many legit Santa costumes being worn, you could tell he was the real deal just by the more luxurious color of red he was wearing, his age and his real fur. It was quite a pleasure to meet the read Santa. He even told me I would get everything I had asked for this year since I had been, “…a very good girl!” Looks like Santa doesn’t know everything – but hey, I’m not going to complain!

 

As dusk took over, the crowd got naughtier. Two women wearing Hawaiian shirts playing Ukeleles sang dirty Christmas Carols. These two guys here were getting down bouncing their dicks in a box all over the place. I walked passed one girl doing a keg stand with her striped tights in the air. I went into a liquor store to buy beer and there was a line of Santas out the door. Everyone was talking to everyone and it was a merry, merry time. SantaCon brought people together. They took shots together. They screamed and shouted together. They sang songs together. And they laughed together.

Darkness took over the city. Christmas lights flickered into life. The city was alive with the holiday spirit. My crew of Santas wanted to dance. We walked all the way downtown through the mobs of tourists and normal people. I almost forgot I was wearing a dress that I made out of a gigantic stocking until people started staring at me weird on Market Street. We didn’t care. I felt like a movie star. Maybe I was drunk, but it sure was fun to be such a spectacle.

We waited a few minutes in line with some other Santas, and got in for FREE. This was like another scene out of a movie. It was 6 p.m. and the club was full of Santas dancing to house music. Somehow, I ended up at Public Works for their Holiday Party later that night. I kept my Santa gear on all the way. SantaCon is totally my new favorite holiday in SF. Thanks to all y’all Santas for being so fun!

 

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About the author

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Originally from San Diego, Heidi migrated north to study journalism at SFSU and interned for the SF Bay Guardian writing music stuff. She later embarked on a study-abroad program in both Denmark and Holland, and basically never came home. For six long years, she froze her ass off in Oslo, Norway, pretending to be a viking princess, trying to figure out how to survive in the most expensive city in the world. The other two years were spent frolicking on the beach in Spain - sipping on sangria in between being tossed around Europe working as a stressed-out journalist. Heidi currently works at for a non-profit cultural exchange program, helping others experience life from a different perspective. She is thrilled to be back in SF, magnetizing the obscure, and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do.