“Deck the halls with pearls for clutching…”
Hoboken SantaCon is this Saturday, December 15. We’re telling you this now so that you know, because knowing is half the battle.
Year after year, this red, white and green mess descends upon our region—Manhattan holds SantaCon one week, then Hoboken gets sloppy seconds. Year after year, Hoboken residents spout their indignation for their children having to bear witness to the calamity. Year after year, it becomes a colossal clusterfunk, as Hoboken’s streets are clogged with overserved, underdressed inebriates, waiting in the cold to get into bars that are intensely scrutinized by Hoboken’s Finest.
Last year, that scrutiny resulted in 17 arrests, 51 City Ordinance summonses (public drinking, public urination, disorderly conduct), 32 moving violation summonses, 55 individuals transported to local hospitals, and 282 calls for service—all within a 16-hour period. None of the arrestees were from Hoboken—they all hailed from places like Middletown, Bloomfield, Hewitt, Linden, Hopatcong, and other towns on the NJ Transit lines that put Hoboken in the crosshairs for events such as this. As we continually point out here at hMAG, the city’s convenience and remarkable accessibility—which make it such a desirable place to live—leave it vulnerable to a concentrated influx of antisocial behavior from surrounding areas.
No beverages of any kind, in any type of container, open or closed, will be permitted on board trains, buses or light rail vehicles on Sat. Dec. 15th & during the early morning hours of Sun. Dec. 16th for the annual Hoboken SantaCon event. This policy will be strictly enforced. pic.twitter.com/Ar7elTWDAW
— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) December 10, 2018
As a response to last year’s debauchery, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced the formation of a “task force” to address violence and quality of life issues resulting from intoxicated bar patrons.
“We can no longer ignore the fact that a small number of establishments are creating a big problem for everyone else in the form of violence, property damage, and financial cost,” said Bhalla. A number of bars saw the fallout from this event manifest itself in significant fines and even a bar closure.
Nevertheless, SantaCon STILL returns to Hoboken this weekend.
(WARNING: Watch out for the ear-shattering shriek at 0:35…)
According to the “official” registration page, the event will take place at the following participating venues:
- The Ainsworth (310 Sinatra Drive)
- Biggie’s (36-24 Newark Street)
- Cadillac Cantina (80 River Street)
- The Ferryman on 1st (94 Bloomfield Street)
- Green Rock (70 Hudson Street)
- Pig & Parrot (77 Hudson Street)
- The Shannon (106 1st Street)
- The Village Pourhouse (205 1st Street)
- Willie McBride’s (616 Grand Street)
There’s also typically a knock-on effect for surrounding venues, as the participating bars become too crowded. All in all, the bars do make a lot of money on SantaCon. That said, a number of Hoboken bars historically refuse entry to anyone dressed in SantaCon garb.
For media outlets, it’s an annual click feast, as we all sort through the detritus and search for the saddest footage we can find. Social media usually delivers:
IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR pic.twitter.com/9kzVBGQFC9
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) December 9, 2018
Rest assured, we’ll be monitoring Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante’s twitter feed…