SantaCon 2012 Ocean City, MD

SantaCon 2012 Rules & Guidelines
1. Santa does not make children cry. Really, if you see kids, don’t do anything to freak them out. Give them a nice smile and possibly a gift of some kind (toys, candy etc).
2. Santa dresses for all occasions. It’s December. Smart santas wear multiple costume layers.
3. Santa doesn’t whine!
4. Bring gifts: NAUGHTY gifts to give grown ups; NICE stuff to give kids. Throwing coal at people is discouraged no matter who they are.
5. Watching santa get drunk and rowdy is fun. Babysitting santa while he vomits in an alley is not. Don’t be that santa.
6. Make sure you always pay for your beer and tip the bar staff. We want to be able to do this again.
7. Please pay for your drinks as soon as you get them. This entire adventure should be cash only.
8. “No santa’s left behind!”
9. Stay with the group. It’s not just a case of “the more, the merrier” – Santa is safer with large numbers of fellow santas and what one santa can’t achieve (or get away with) is a possibility for 50 or more!
10. Dress up! You don’t have to dress exactly like Santa. In fact, unusual interpretations of Santa-ness are much appreciated.
11. Please remember that this is all about having fun. Most santas like to take their fun with a little alcohol which is fine. What is not fine, however, is acting like a drunken jerk.
12. Santa doesn’t drink & drive and neither should you! Don’t be stupid.
13. You MUST address everyone as “Santa.”
14. You SHOULD “ho-ho-ho” like Santa.
15. You OUGHT to give out gifts like Santa.
16. You MIGHT want to drink like Santa
17. Read these guidelines one more time.
18. If you have reached this rule, it means you didn’t get locked into a loop reading the guidelines over and over again as per the previous rule. You are therefore intelligent enough to take part in SantaCon!

The Santas taking part in Ocean City’s SantaCon 2012 are part of a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political, and non-sensical Santa Claus convention of sorts; one that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason at all.

Last year, SantaCon participants invaded south Ocean City: The Pour House, The Cork Bar, De Lazy Lizard, and others. This year (the 2nd annual event in OC) is planning to take over bars up north. On Saturday, December 15th, a massive amount of individuals filled will holiday cheer will meet at JC’s Northside Pub at 4:30 pm. Then, the massive sea of red will travel south to other bars and restaurants, jingling all the way.
Sandy Claws, an alias for an Ocean City local who decided to organize the OC Santa Con, has to remain anonymous due to the Santa Con Constitution. The adult-only event occurs in approximately 221 separate locations and 30 countries. Each event has been organized by different individuals that remain anonymous.
Every SantaCon event has special rules and guidelines. The guide lines are very thorough and meant to be followed. Sandy Claws and his elves will be enforcing the rules this weekend.
“We are starting SantaCon a little later this year. We want the Santa’s to have more time to do fun things,” said Claws about the 4:30 pm event start time.
“We are also strongly encouraging moderation. Last year, we had quite a few Santas who dropped out of the ‘Con pretty early. We’re hoping that if we start further north, they’ll have more time to pace themselves as the night goes on,” he continued.
Drivers on Coastal Highway will definitely be laughing in their warm, cozy cars on December 15th as they pass groups of Santa’s, elves, and reindeer waiting for the crosswalk signs to flash the white pedestrian crossing symbol.  Santa’s big belly will be bouncing as he scurries across the designated pathway, crossing the street.
“We hope to get some beeps from passing drivers,” said Sandy Claws, “I want to see them laugh at us.”
Each stop on the bar crawl should take an hour or less. The SantaCon crew hopes to visit roughly 7 bars on their 9 hour journey and carol on the walk from bar to bar. A ‘naughty Christmas carol’ book has been created and will be printable in PDF format from a few days prior to the event. A few of the caroling books will be distributed at the inlet on the day of, too.
Where can you pick up a Santa costume? Some fairly basic ones were spotted for only $5 at Five Below in West Ocean City. Sheila’s Party World in Salisbury, MD has a selection in the $35 – $70 range. Party City has Santa suits, Mrs. Claus outfits, faceless Santa morph suits, Santa babe costumes, and other styles online starting at $34.99.
According to the public SantaCon Ocean City event page on Facebook, 201 people have said they will be joining the spirited party clan. Hopefully the number continues to increase over the remaining days before the red, green, and white premier. Who doesn’t want to dress up like Santa and go cavorting around town for no reason other than for amusement and fun?
To RSVP to SantaCon 2012 in Ocean City, MD, join the event on Facebook and then check out the pages below:

Photos by Ami Reist.