Santa Claus really is coming to town, or, rather, Santa Clauses are coming to town. On December 18, the Saturday before Christmas, hundreds of red-suited revelers will once again take to the bars and restaurants of Downtown Saratoga for Saratoga SantaCON, the Capital Region’s largest pub crawl.
This year’s crawl isn’t just any old mass gathering of grown adults dressed up as an imaginary immortal being for the purpose of consuming alcohol—no, this is Saratoga SantaCON’s 10th anniversary event, and the organizers are pulling out all the sleigh stops. In addition to the bar crawl (which will take Santas around downtown for $4 Labatt Blue, Blue Light and Blue Light Seltzer, and $5 Tito’s cocktails), this year’s con will also attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest scavenger hunt in the world, which is currently held by the City of Ottawa (a 2017 scavenger hunt in the Canadian capital drew 2,732 participants). Scavenging Saratoga Santas will be tasked with snapping photos, scanning hidden QR codes and answering trivia questions throughout the day in an attempt to rack up the most points and win a $1,000 cash prize.
Sound like some ho-ho-hometown holiday fun you don’t want to miss? Buy your $10 ticket ahead of time, print it out, and bring it with you to registration, which will begin at the Soundbar at noon on the 18th. Also bring five non-perishable food items; 100 percent of food collected and funds raised will be donated to the Franklin Community Center, a nonprofit that provides Saratoga County families in need with basic necessities and services. Once your food donation has been made and your ticket has been confirmed, you’ll receive the Santa Scavenger Hunt passcode and can get hunting. Later that night, be sure to check out the official Saratoga SantaCON after party at Putnam Place, where Hartley’s Encore will perform with Hilltop from 8-11:30pm. And lastly but perhaps more importantly: Do you have to dress up? Only if you plan to be on Santa’s nice list this year.