SantaCon 2011: Dashing through LA

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Christmas came early to Los Angeles this year as hundreds of Santas overtook Hollywood for Saturday's SantaCon, a mass gathering of people parading as Saint Nick.

A Los Angeles SantaCon website listed tips to follow before the big day arrived, reminding participants to purchase all-day Metro passes, asked latecomers to follow twitter to find the "red tide," and suggested places to purchase Santa suits.

"A Santa hat is not enough," their website added.

Elvis Santa, Occupy Santa, Grinch Santa and a bevy of Sexy Santas showed up to spread festive creativity and holiday cheer. They hopped from bar to bar and made the occasional stop to sing naughty Christmas carols.

After the merriment started at Hooters in the early afternoon, the brigade made stops at Grauman's Chinese Theater, L Ron Hubbard’s Christmas Wonderland and continued well into the not-so-silent night.

The group stayed together with constant help from their Twitter, shooting out location updates and notes on a nearly minute-to-minute basis. Their message board, Los Angeles SantaCon, sports 152 members.

"Be LOUD, OBNOXIOUS, and JOLLY," commands their website. "Stick together. Safety in numbers. Buddy up, don't leave a Santa behind. Unless he broke major laws, then he's no longer Santa."

But the first rule of SantaCon (besides not talking about SantaCon)? The answer is Santa.

"If asked, this is how you should answer. Who's in charge? Santa. Who are you with? Santa. What organization are you with? Santa. Who just puked in that trashcan? Santa."

While SantaCon does involve its fair share of bar-crawling, many Santas are simply there to have the little-round-belly-like-a-bowlful-of-jelly experience.

SantaCon.info, the SantaCon national site, sums it up best:

"You MUST address everyone as 'Santa.' You SHOULD "ho-ho-ho" like Santa. You OUGHT to give out gifts like Santa. You MIGHT want to drink like Santa."

With contributions by Andrea Wang

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