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    Posted December 16, 2012 by
    New York City, New York

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    Santa in the City


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     beachtar photographed Santa-Con in Manhattan, New York City, on December 15. He says it was hard to just pick on highlight from the event. 'Literally thousands of people throughout Manhattan dressed as Santas, elves and reindeer, that was the highlight,' he said. 'No matter where you turned -- in any direction -- there were Santas. It was like one huge piece of performance art,' he said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    On any given day in New York City you cannot—I repeat, you cannot—allow yourself to be surprised at any manner of dress you encounter. Yet as I headed north on Avenue A yesterday, I couldn’t stop surprise from sucking me in as ever-increasing ranks of red and white clad Santas stepped out of cabs, walked up from subways and came down from apartment buildings. It was Santas to the left of me, Santas to the right of me.


    The genesis of this flash-mob-like appearance of St. Nicks goes back to 1974 when the Danish activist theatre group Solvognen first brought a small army of Santas onto the streets of Copenhagen. Christened SantaCon in the 1990s, the event has spawned many different versions and interpretations throughout the world.


    SantaCon’s NYC website describes the event as, “…a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention...” The website also says that SantaCon, “…is not a bar crawl. Every time you call it that, a sugarplum fairy dies.” If that’s the case, then the sugarplum fairy population was certainly decimated yesterday. As I walked west to Union Square, every bar I passed had red felt and white faux fur spilling out onto the street. I will say, however, that goodwill toward men (and women) seemed to be the watchword of the day and that the pursuit of happiness was the primary goal.


    Before I went to bed last night I checked my Facebook page and saw that a friend of mine with two small children was in the city as well. “Really glad we are not going home tonight on the train with the tens of thousands of drunk Santas,” she posted. I smiled, clicked Like and turned off the light, making a mental note to leave a snifter of brandy with the milk and cookies on Christmas eve.

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