S'pore's first SantaCon kicks off at Boat Quay

S'pore's first SantaCon kicks off at Boat Quay

SINGAPORE - Traditionally, Santa Claus is more used to snow than monsoon rain.

But on Friday, a group of people braved a trademark tropical downpour for Singapore's inaugural SantaCon, which kicked off with a Santa Crawl at Boat Quay.

A SantaCon is a gathering of people dressed in Santa Claus and festive costumes in public, while a Santa Crawl is an event where participants dressed up in that unmistakable red costume go from pub to pub to have a drink.

SantaCon is an event new to Singapore, but it has been held in cities such as New York and Perth.

Indeed, Singapore's version featured a SantaCon "veteran" of sorts.

"I was at Perth's SantaCon last week and since I'm here on vacation, I decided to attend this one too," said system analyst Chris Cooper, 54, one of the few "Santas" with a real white beard.

SantaCons are usually one-day affairs which involve plenty of drinking.

Indeed, the website for the New York SantaCon describes it a "nonsensical convention that happens once a year for absolutely no reason".

Singapore's SantaCon lasted two days - Friday and Saturday - and featured events such as pole-dancing Santarinas and a Miss Santabella pageant.


On Friday evening, about 50 revellers dressed in red and white gathered at UOB Plaza, eager to kick off the event.

The Santa Crawl route wound its way to Harry's and then Hombre Cantina, Mogambo Bar and BQ Bar before ending at Bianca Supper Club.

If the rain initially dampened spirits, a festive one took hold as the alcohol flowed.

The traditional Santa cheer of "Ho Ho Ho" was interspersed with the less traditional but equally merry cheer of "Chug!" The group of Santas moved around and greeted other Boat Quay patrons.

Some, including Mr Cooper, handed out candy canes.

As the good times rolled, even Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer joined in.

Or in this case, it was 19-year-old student Jacky Ng in a reindeer costume.

"I read about the SantaCon online and found it interesting, so I came down to check it out," he said.

When asked what their Christmas wish was, many of the Santas answered: "World peace".

As for "Rudolph", he replied: "I'm a student, so I guess I'm wishing for good grades."

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