Santa Con Hits San Francisco This Saturday!

Jessica Nemire

Santa Con Hits San Francisco This Saturday!

This coming Saturday in San Francisco will be much like any other Saturday in December. Packed cable cars going up and down our steep hills, early holiday shoppers milling through Westfield Mall, and groups of people taking selfies in front of the gigantic Christmas tree that's posted up in Union Square every year. Except for one thing - there's also going to be thousands of people dressed like Santa Claus.

Every year since 1994, San Francisco has hosted Santa Con - a massive pre-Christmas celebration in which everyone dresses up like Santa Claus. And yes, attending Santa Con is 100 percent free! Thousands of Santa-clad merry makers convene in Union Square every single year at 12 p.m. on the dot to start off the day! The event's official organizer, who goes by the name of Santa Tom, is also hosting a toy drive, like he does every year. On the official Santa Con SF Facebook page, he encourages participants to bring an unwrapped childrens' toy to donate to the toy drive. Santa Con is about having fun, but it's also about spreading the holiday cheer and making everyone happy. Just like Santa. If you're able to, meet Santa Tom at the North side of the stage of Union Square with your toy to donate to the drive.

Also at 1 p.m., there will be an a capella band performing Christmas carols and other holiday classics. Stick around for the performance or get started on your day drinking early. Yes, that's right - Santa Con then turns into a massive bar crawl. Bars around Union Square, North Beach, and Polk Street will be full to the brim of drunk Santas, and will have discounted drinks and shots for celebrating Santas all day and all night long. Join the official Santa Con San Francisco Facebook group to find out which bars and when!

No Santa suit? NO PROBLEM! Daiso at 570 Market Street (10 minutes from the hostel by foot) has full Santa suits for ONLY FIVE DOLLARS. That's a worthwhile expense, we think. Also, we're hoping the free ramen we offer to our guests 24/7 will offset the cost a little if you're on a budget. We know how that is.

Here at Pacific Tradewinds Hostel, we are all about having fun, but we are also all about staying safe. We're all heading to the event as a group, and we plan on moving around the city and leaving as a group, too. Fill up on our free ramen and toast before you leave for the day, bring a water bottle to stay hydrated, and make sure you wear good walking shoes! Also make sure your phone is charged. You're going to want to take lots of videos for your Instagram story to show all your friends back home the amazing time you're having in San Francisco.

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