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Better watch out, better not cry, cause SantaCon is rumbling through town

Photo Credit: TRIBUNE PHOTOS: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Anne Lise Kelly leads the front of a Santa-on-Santa tug of war during a Portland SantaCon event Dec. 8. The mob of santas stopped to play games along the way, as they marched from bar to bar in downtown Portland. Shhh! Don’t tell the kids about these people. Remember: The real Santa lives at the North Pole, flies around the world delivering presents on Christmas Eve and eats cookies left for him. He doesn’t buy his suit at Party City, bar-hop and chug whiskey.

So, the folks who live in the 272 locations in 37 countries worldwide might want to avoid the city streets, flash mobs and drinking establishments, for fear of singing, carousing and reveling bad Santas scarring the good little boys and girls. Yes, once again, SantaCon has arrived, with Portland being one of the most popular areas for the Santa-spoofing and adult fun.

Photo Credit: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Santas climb onto 'The Quest' fountain in downtown Portland, adorning it with ribbons Dec. 8 during a Santacon mission to wrap statues in the city.There was an event on Dec. 1, and another more official SantaCon on Dec. 8 starting at Piedmont Fountain and extending to bars throughout downtown. There’ll be an event the next two Saturdays as well, a Stumptown Crawlers-led outing Dec. 15 (starting at Director Park at noon) and the SantacanCrawl on Dec. 22 (starting at The Barracks bar at noon).

Portland appears to be a world leader in jolly St. Nick celebrations — surprising, huh? For info, visit www.santacon.info/Portland-OR.

Photo Credit: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT -  Kelly's Olympian was overrun by more than a hundred Santas during the SantaCon pub crawl Dec. 8.The loosely organized SantaCon movement — movement? — gained momentum 20 years ago, taking hold in San Francisco with an emphasis on spreading good cheer, merriment and group fun. Like many things involving lots of people and alcohol, things have gotten out of control in certain cities, but sanity and silliness usually reign in the good name of Santa.

And, yes, everybody goes by “Santa” and should act like “Santa,” per rules.

Says one rule: “Watching Santa get drunk and rowdy is fun. Babysitting Santa while he vomits in an alley is not. Don’t be that Santa.”

— Jason Vondersmith

Photo Credit: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - A 'Santa' takes a big swig of Broker's whiskey outside Kelly's Olympian, the second bar stop on the SantaCon outing Dec. 8.