Hundreds of Saint Nicks to swarm SF streets for SantaCon

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- SantaCon returns to San Francisco Saturday where it started 21 years ago. It's a great party for some people but a nightmare for others.

At Sip N Sews near Polk Street, a special edition Santa hat will be on sale for SantaCon revelers Saturday.

"It's just a way to start the holiday season," said Tammy Gustin, owner of Sip N Sews.

As a long time San Francisco resident, she's well aware of the crowds that will descend on the city.

"Tomorrow, you will not be able to cross the street without being inundated with 3,000 to 5,000 Santas," Gustin said.

Her neighborhood is already decorated for the season. Come Saturday, it will be teaming with people dressed in red and white. Some club managers across the city say this event has gone overboard.

"We hire two security guards and we don't let anyone in that's in a Santa outfit," said Adam Ritchie, bar manager at Original Joe's.

At Original Joe's in North Beach they hire bouncers three days out of the year: for SantaCon, St. Patrick's Day and the North Beach Festival.

At least two other clubs in North Beach neighborhood will also be saying no to Santas.

"Half the time, you see them passed out in the street or they're being rude to customers or rude to people, it's just, and then you're in a Santa outfit, it's just a bummer for Christmas," Ritchie said.

But not everyone is shutting Santa out. Across the street, owner of Acquolina and former SantaCon participant Dario Tobia will be welcoming the season's celebrants.

"I personally don't care. We love our fun. We like to stay together, we like atmosphere," Tobia said.

Tobia opened this place up this summer, so this will be the first year he'll be handling droves of people in Santa suits.

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