Another Hoboken holiday tradition will not be happening this year due to the coronavirus and the fear of spiking the number of cases in the Mile Square City….that, and Governor Phil Murphy’s latest revisions to indoor and outdoor social gathering.  Alas, SantaCon will have to wait until 2021.  And that makes local bars feel like a grinch.  Bah Humbug!!!

Hoboken SantaCon announced in a Saturday Facebook post that, “Regretfully, given the CDC guidelines about social distancing, the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and the capacity limitations in our local bars and restaurants, we will NOT be organizing a SantaCon Bar-crawl in Hoboken this year.  We are not affiliated with any Hoboken SantaCon event, holiday bar-crawl or similar type event that claims to be “happening” this year and we would strongly advise against participating.”

Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante told and also tweeted on Monday that SantaCon will not be happening and there will be a crackdown against any city bars which decide to ignore the order prohibiting such a gathering in violation of COVID-19 safety restrictions.

“If bars try to take part in a SantaCon during this huge second wave of coronavirus that we’re having, if there are violations that day, they’re going to pay the price for it,” he said. “They’re going to get hit with sanctions.”

SantaCon, which is not sanctioned by the city, had been scheduled to be held on Saturday, December 7 in Hoboken.

Yesterday, as COVID-19 cases across New Jersey continued to rise at an alarming rate, Governor Murphy announced that outdoor gatherings would be limited to 25 people. Those new restrictions come on the heels of changes implemented last month, when the Governor ordered bars and restaurants to shut down by 10 p.m.   He also banned bar seating.

In the wake of these new restrictions, the rowdy, annual event involving drunken revelers dressing up as Santa Claus and going from one bar to another, has been canceled.

According to Chief Ferrante, SantaCon draws hundreds, maybe thousands, of visitors to Hoboken’s bar scene every year.  It usually causes headaches for local police and city officials.  During 2019, the event resulted in eight arrests, 20 hospitalizations, and more than 500 calls for police responses.   Chief Ferrante says it cost taxpayers $75,000 in overtime for police.

Stay home people.  There are many ways we can all celebrate the holidays safely, with loved ones.  Let’s not put ourselves, or others, at risk.

Happy Holidays!!!