Morristown, NJ

'Bad' Santa Con

Morristown Minute

Santa Con is a yearly holiday event that brings hundreds of people into the bar scene of Morristown, New Jersey dressed as Santa, Mrs. Clause, or their elf helpers. The event has been happening in Morristown since 2006 in a year where a mere 30 Santa’s wandered the streets of Morristown in and out of bars.

Fifteen years after Santa Con's introduction to Morristown, thousands of people now participate in the annual event, dressing as Santa and following no set route as they moved between their favorite bars.

The holiday drinking event has a lot of passionate supporters who cite the celebration’s good-natured fun and increased patronage of local bars. But not everyone is a fan of the Morristown Santa Con.

There is an increase in arrests for assault, public intoxication, and disorderly conduct every year due to this annual holiday event. Residents of Morristown have complained throughout the years about the rowdy, messy, and unruly behavior of Santa Con attendees.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and advertised for and held the Santa Con event in 2020 on Saturday, December 12th. With no set route, Santa Con attendees wander aimlessly between their favorite bars. Walk the streets of Morristown during this event and our town takes on the feeling of a bustling college town on a weekend.

Past complaints from residents have included things such as Santa Con attendees urinating on the lawns of private homes, vomiting on doorsteps, and noise complaints. Business owners, particularly the bars of Morristown, rely heavily on police to assist with unruly, intoxicated “Santa’s” that are breaking establishment laws or becoming aggressive.

Santa Con 2021 in Morristown is not being advertised on the website, but many Morristown bars have already begun to promote and prepare for the annual event. The Horseshoe Tavern of Morristown posted a Santa Con update yesterday (12/7) promoting the event. The Facebook post claims the annual Santa Con event will take place on Saturday, December 11th beginning at 2 PM running until the Horseshoe Tavern closes.

Despite the issues cited by Morristown residents and some business owners, the Santa Con event has been a largely successful and cheerful holiday celebration for all in attendance.

The event is held in cities all over the country. advertises the event as taking place in Albany, Alington, Asbury Park, Athens, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, Hoboken, Hollywood, Houston, Huntington Beach, Jersey City, Long Island, Morristown, Nashville, New York, Newport Beach, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Tallahassee, and Washington D.C.

Each one of these cities sees an increase in arrest, particularly for public intoxication, as well as an increase in emergency response to alcohol poisoning every year around Santa Con. There are concerns from town officials in Morristown as to the safety and organization of the Santa Con event. Nonetheless, Santa Con appears to be alive and well and set to take place in Morristown on Saturday, December 11th of this year.

With the annual Santa Con coming up this weekend, Morristown Minute wants to know what you think about the annual event. Let us know in the comments below.

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