Portland, the city that can’t just have one Santa Con. There are 3 every year so get ready.
Things to know?
Dress up! Some Portlanders are always looking for a reason to be angry so if you half ass it and only wear a hat, you will have people talk trash throughout the day. SOme groups may even ban you. They say they are a full participation event. No onlookers. Buy a full Santa Suit.
Bring Cash!!! You do NOT want to try to use a card in a bar with this many people but also most bars ban cards during this bar crawl because there is just too much work involved in hundreds of open Santa bar tabs.
Dress Warm. It’s Portland. It is cold and rainy during these events.
Buy a Max ticket. You can get an all day pass for $5. Often times these evens span out over large areas and you end up on a bus or a Max and you shouldn’t be driving here anyways. Use public transit. TriMet is your friend. Sometimes.
Date: Saturday December 1st. FB Page
Meeting Place: The NoPDX Anticon usually meets at the Paul Bunyan Statue in the Kenton area of North Portland.
Public Transportation: Because it is in Kenton it is very easy to take the Max there.
Cause? They claim this Santa Con is serving the purpose of bringing people to North Portland to check out the neighborhood. Which is funny because I see so many stay out of NoPo like comments online and anti-gentrification fights that hate things like this. Me? I say the cause is to go get wasted with a bunch of people in Santa Suits. One good thing is they promote people bringing toys for an annual toy drive but I haven’t seen any results or information released as to how successful that has been.
Description: I would say this is the smallest of the 3 being all the way up in NoPo and being all spread out among miles but I think I also had the most fun at the North Portland Santa Con. One of my favorite stops was the place where everyone was drinking outside and playing Twister.
Photos from North Portland SantaCon
2) Original Portland Santacon
Date: Saturday December 8th. FB Event
Meeting Place: The normal Santacon meets at the Skidmore Fountain downtown. But location may be announced later.
UPDATE: Meeting point or vicinity to be announced soon, keep checking back.
Public Transportation: Downtown, all kinds of Max around. This one will take field trips so buy a day pass.
Cause? This pub crawl claims to be a lot more than just a bar crawl but I’ll tell you what, it’s just a massive pub crawl.
Description: You gotta be careful with these guys. For this year they bailed on downtown and didn’t tell anyone they were taking a 45 minute Max ride to Gresham leaving random Santa’s stranded all over downtown looking for each other.
3) Stumptown Santacon – Bright Lights – Big City
Date: December 15th, Saturday 3pm-11pm+ FB Event
Meeting Place: Ankeny Alley, SKidrow. Check event page for location and to buy $15 wristband ($20 week of) here.
Public Transportation: Downtown, all kinds of Max around. Mostly walking around the area once you arrive.
Cause? Getting crunk in Santa Suits!!!
Description: This is the biggest and most promoted Santacon.
After Party? This one ends with a street part in Portland’s old town entertainment district. Drunk Santi everywhere.
This will happen in July.
More info to come soon.
When and where did Santacon start?
Back in 1994 a group of people by the name of the San Francisco Cacophony Society started Santarchy or a Santa Rampage in San Francisco. It basically meant the same thing it does now. As many people as possible getting together wearing cheap Santa Suits and running around from bar to bar drinking. The San Francisco group visited their buddies in Portland and started the first Santa Convention and the Santa Con tradition has carried on ever since. This group also claims they started Burning Man, Flash Mobs, Fight Club and more. Bottom line is some say Santa Con started in 1994 under the original name in San Francisco and Portland people claim it started here in 1996 when the name changed but the same idea was upheld.