Home Food + DrinkBars Is Hoboken Santacon Happening in 2022? Here’s What We Know

Is Hoboken Santacon Happening in 2022? Here’s What We Know

by Hoboken Girl Team
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Santacon NYC 2022 is happening this weekend, but the Hoboken holiday pub crawl Santacon is hotly debated among local business owners and residents alike — and has caused some stir between local officials and organizers in years prior. Some love it, some hate it – either way, it is again happening in 2022. In addition, another holiday bar event unaffiliated with Santacon is coming to the Mile Square this year — HoHo Hoboken — which will be happening on the same day, organized by local bar owners. Because both events are taking place on the same day and are similarly themed, many residents and visitors — some planning to attend, some looking to avoid both events — are confused as to what they should expect on December 17th, 2022. Read on for what we know about both Hoboken SantaCon 2022 and the HoHo Hoboken Bar Event.

hoboken santa con 2021

(Photo credit: @dimagg.io)

Background on Hoboken’s SantaCon

SantaCon, which is an annual holiday pub crawl that takes place in several cities across the country, began in Hoboken in 2011. Originally benefitting local charities, the event has since received a mixed reception, drawing thousands to Hoboken to celebrate.

In 2020, SantaCon was canceled by the founders due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but in the few years prior, though still attended by bar patrons, the event became increasingly problematic for the town.

According to a press release issued after the 2017 SantaCon, the event saw an increase in arrests for DWIs and assault, as well as offenses including criminal sexual contact, assault on police officers, urinating in public, and disorderly conduct. Several bars had their liquor licenses suspended and were prohibited from participating in a similar holiday pub crawl LepreCon in 2018 because “they failed to adequately control their patrons and the activities within their premises, leading to severe public safety issues”.

According to NJ.com, Former Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante, now Hoboken’s Public Safety Director, updated the public via Twitter and referred to the 2017 event as the busiest the Hoboken Police Department had been in the past five years. In a Tweet from Mayor Bhalla from the same year, then Mayor-elect Bhalla stated, “Enough is enough with SantaCon – [we are] exploring legislative options… this event is NOT acceptable in Hoboken”.

NorthJersey.com reported continued criticism of the event, including a petition to ban the event, discouraged bars from participating in SantaCon. Before canceling for COVID, the 2019 event had only nine bars participate, whereas in 2017, there were 30 bars.

However, SantaCon returned to Hoboken in 2021 and according to the official Hoboken Santacon website, SantaCon comes to Hoboken again on Saturday, December 17th. 2022 at 10AM. According to event organizers, included in the ticket will be a Santa Hat for the first 1000 people, a branded SantaCon wristband for free admission at five bars and reduced admission to all other participating bars, and a guided crawl digital map detailing the food and drink specials taking place in town.

Read More: Daybase’s Hoboken Location Announces Closure — What We Know

HoHo Hoboken — A New Bar Event

New for 2022, a group of Hoboken bar owners have organized their own holiday event. The first annual HoHo Hoboken Bar Event will also be taking place on Saturday, December 17th, starting at 11AM  and according to Gary Yip — co-owner of Birch, Mike’s Wild Moose Saloon, and Fat Taco — is in no way affiliated with SantaCon. Aside from these, other bars participating in HoHo Hoboken include 80 River, Black Bear Bar + Grill, Bobbleheads Saloon, Green Rock, Mill’s Tavern, The Pig + Parrot, Tally-Ho, Texas Arizona, The Stewed Cow, The Brass Rail, and Union Hall. Portions of the ticket sales will be donated to TRUE Mentors, according to event organizers.

Hoho Hoboken participants are encouraged to dress in their holiday best, but according to the official event page, no other event bracelets will be accepted at the participating establishments — including SantaCon’s. Gary Yip told The Hoboken Girl that they are working with city officials in an effort to bring a “fun, successful, and safe event to the city that is acceptable to residents, the city, and fellow businesses.” One of the ways they intend to do so, per Gary, is to cap ticket sales at a percentage of Fire Code Occupancy to percent overcrowding.

See More: Here’s Where to See Santa in North Jersey This Season | 2022

Local Perspective on Both Events

While some are excited about the prospect of having two holiday bar crawls to choose from, other locals are concerned about a second event coming to town on the same day. Despite the effort to differentiate the events, both SantaCon and HoHo Hoboken are similar in nature.

The confusion continues as the HoHo Hoboken promotional materials and social posts use pictures from past SantaCons. Though the bar owners participating in the HoHo Hoboken event told The Hoboken Girl that their bars will not be participating in SantaCon, the official SantaCon website still has some of those same bars listed as part of their event, and some even billed as sold out check-in locations.

Pat Light, owner of Texas Arizona, Green Rock, and 80 River stated that he asked for his bars to be removed from the SantaCon website, but as of December 9th, they are still listed on the site.

The Hoboken Girl reached out to both City Hall and Ken Ferrante for comment, but we have yet to receive as a response.

To stay in the know on all Hoboken happenings, be sure to follow us on Instagram and TikTok.

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