This is our annual notice that Hoboken SantaCon is coming to town. You can either grab your drinking hat or clutch your pearls, as one of the most polarizing events of the year will be hitting the streets this Saturday, December 7.
“Registration” for this event will be taking place at The Inn, The Ainsworth, Texas Arizona, Willie McBride’s and The Green Rock—reportedly as early as 10:00 a.m.
According to SantaCon.org:
Ticket buyers will have access to some awesome drink specials throughout the entirety of this event, and the opportunity to meet new friends in awesome atmospheres while they’re at it! At your registration location, you will receive the SantaCon wristband and official guide map which will outline all of the great food and drink specials throughout the day for event goers. The holiday season is finally underway. Throw on your red Santa hat and get in the spirit to enjoy everything that Hoboken has to offer with the annual SantaCon Crawl event.
Organizers go on to claim that, “The entire Hoboken community is getting together to celebrate with holiday cheer. Don’t be the only one sitting at home while everyone else is scouring the streets visiting the best bars in town.”
As for the Hoboken community, well…
In response to the 2017 event, 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.
Last year’s SantaCon saw 14 arrests, 46 tickets issued to motorists, 33 ordinance violations, and 4 police officers injured.
Between Noon-4am, the @HobokenPD responded to 429 calls for service, up from 282 during the same period at the 2017 SantaCon. This yr there were 14 arrests, down from 17 last yr. There were 33 City Ordinance summonses issued for drinking & urinating in public, down from 52 in ’17
— Chief Ken Ferrante (@KenFerrante) December 16, 2018
Hoboken’s relatively raucous SantaCon often brings negative attention to the city—underscored by the fact that organizers for the event across the river in NYC told Gothamist that “The very last thing we want is for SantaCon NYC to turn into the sleighshow that happens in Hoboken each year.”
Obviously, bars do well on this day, and the hospitality industry is a vital machine for the Hoboken economy. That said, many bars actively chose to deny entry to SantaCon revelers—including Mulligan’s, Court Street, The Ale House, Northern Soul, Elysian Cafe and Antique Bar and Bakery.
Meanwhile area retailers have voiced their concerns about lost revenue during a vital holiday stretch, as shoppers are to leery to venture out. As for Hoboken residents, year after year they spout their indignation SantaCon, as Hoboken’s streets are typically clogged with overserved, underdressed inebriates, waiting in lines in the cold to get into bars that are intensely scrutinized by Hoboken’s Finest.
Want to see how bad it gets?
Organizers claim that videographers will be all around town throughout the event filming for “the televised documentary” covering the nationwide 25th annual SantaCon. So, in the holiday tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and Die Hard, we can all soon snuggle around the fire, eat gingerbread cookies and figgy pudding, and watch Hoboken SantaCon videos.