The red tide of Santas pack San Francisco's Union Square
For anyone not familiar with SantaCon a photo of the crowds could easily seem like a Where's Waldo picture. SantaCon takes place in cities throughout the world and San Francisco, the place where it all started in the 90s held their event yesterday.
It was easily the land of Santas. Estimates vary, some say over 1,000 which seems credible. Some said a couple of thousand and that is harder to determine. Regardless, for those doing shopping at Macy's or any of the shops surrounding Union Square, it was a puzzling site. Tourists asked Santas what was going on. Even for first time Santas, it was a mind blowing event to have so many people in one place and all wearing Santa or Mrs. Santa costumes.
Sitting in large leather chairs in the Starbucks on an upper floor in Macy's were a couple from Boston. They staked out their position hours earlier and were in front of a window so they could see all of Union Square. They spoke of how they have done this before and how the red and white throng would get bigger and bigger as time went on.
Surprisingly SantaCon is the reason they keeping coming out, now for their third or fourth year. Although there is a SantaCon in Boston, they've never been interested in attending. They had flown out to San Francisco their first time to escape the cold and do some Christmas shopping. It was then that they stumbled upon the phenomenom known as SantaCon. They were so impressed that seeing SantaCon is their reason they keep coming back, not to escape the cold but to see a thousand Santas.
There were traditional Santas, funny Santas, Sci-Fi Darth Vader and Storm Trooper Santas, sexy Santas and many more types of Santas all in Union Square. Many brought a toy and dropped them off in barrels with firefighters who were having a toy drive. After that it was labeled as a pub crawl with routes in seven different neighborhoods labeled to both spread out the crowds but also to accommodate those who favor a specific neighborhood of San Francisco.
While a pub crawl this large isn't organized, it was small groups of people who left for watering holes. Hundreds remained in Union Square dancing to a man in a robot costume who played music from the speakers in his costume. There were plenty of spirits as well as spirits of the revelers being high. The red tide came to San Francisco and the Santas rejoiced.