Naughty or nice? Santacon invades San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- An invasion of red is taking over the Bay Area, better known as the 24th annual Santacon.

In San Francisco's Union Square thousands of people in Santa suits gathered to party and begin the annual pub crawl.

"It's the holidays, everyone should have fun and come out to Santacon," said Blaise from San Francisco.

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The line for the Golden Gate Tap Room on Powell St. wrapped around the corner with people waiting to get in. Security guards were checking IDs and bags at the door.

"We've been busy since noon, we want everyone to have fun and not get too intoxicated," said security guard Dominic Augustine.

Santacon organizers say San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department denied Santacon an event permit for Union Square, but Santas still showed up.

"This is going to happen no matter what. You're going to have 17,000 Santas whether the city likes it or not," said Santacon co-organizer Tom DiBell.

Not everyone likes the event. One cafe in North Beach posted a sign telling Santas to stay out because of disorderly conduct in past years.

Extra police officers were on duty telling party goers to stay on the sidewalk and out of the streets.

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"We want to make sure people are safe, it's a big event there's a lot of drinking," said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott.

Tupelo Bar on Grant Avenue expected a big crowd, and that's what they got.

"So far so good, the toilets have only overflowed once. It will get worse, but it is what it is," said manager Paulina Budworth.

Despite the crowds and a little chaos, Budworth says Santacon is her biggest and busiest day of the year.

If you're planning on going to SantaCon, tag your photos and videos on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with #abc7now.
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