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SantaCons have flocks of Santas flooding city streets nationwide: See the Christmas chaos

Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City. While ostensibly raising money for charity, the event has been criticized for widespread drunkenness and sporadic violence.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City. While ostensibly raising money for charity, the event has been criticized for widespread drunkenness and sporadic violence.

Thousands of revelers from coast to coast have flooded city streets to get in the Christmas spirit and honor the jolliest holiday icon.

The streets of Manhattan and San Francisco were filled over the weekend during the cities’ SantaCons, during which people donned costumes and walked from bar to bar in the name of Christmas spirit.

NYC SantaCon, a nonprofit organization which boasts on its website about raising “over $1.1 million for charitable causes,” says the event is “a charitable, non-political, nonsensical Santa Claus convention that happens once a year to spread absurdist joy.”

Some recent news reports have cast doubt over claims that the event is a charitable cause.

According to an analysis of NYC SantaCon’s tax documents by Gothamist,  the daylong bar crawl in New York has garnered public pushback from some who say the event is less about raising funds for charity and more about creating widespread chaos. Less than 20% of the $1.4 million SantaCon programming raised between 2014 and 2022 went to registered nonprofits, the outlet reported.

See how Santas and elves have taken over cities during the 2023 holiday season.

More: SatanCon: World's 'largest gathering of Satanists' hails diversity, fellowship

Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revellers gather in Times Square for the start of the 2023 SantaCon in New York on December 9, 2023.
Revellers gather in Times Square for the start of the 2023 SantaCon in New York on December 9, 2023.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Phillip Keeling, dressed as the Grinch, pets a dog during SantaCon at Union Square on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in San Francisco.
Phillip Keeling, dressed as the Grinch, pets a dog during SantaCon at Union Square on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in San Francisco.
Liz Bletz, dressed as Mrs. Santa Claus, kisses her husband Ira Bletz under the mistletoe during SantaCon at Union Square on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in San Francisco. The event, which includes a toy drive and bar crawl, attracted hundreds dressed in holiday costumes.
Liz Bletz, dressed as Mrs. Santa Claus, kisses her husband Ira Bletz under the mistletoe during SantaCon at Union Square on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in San Francisco. The event, which includes a toy drive and bar crawl, attracted hundreds dressed in holiday costumes.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revelers dressed as holiday characters participate in the annual SantaCon pub crawl on December 9, 2023 in New York City.
Revellers gather in Times Square for the start of the 2023 SantaCon in New York on December 9, 2023.
Revellers gather in Times Square for the start of the 2023 SantaCon in New York on December 9, 2023.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Santa Cons nationwide have elves flooding city streets: See the photos