Santacon lands on Hoboken's naughty list every year because of the crowds and debauchery and while the city cannot stop the bar crawl, it will make it a bit more difficult to attend this year.

Mayor Ravi Balla signed an executive order Thursday requiring participants in SantaCon to show proof they had taken the full COVID-19 vaccination by Dec. 4 in order to enter a participating bar. The reason for the date is that it takes two weeks for the vaccine to fully take effect after being administered.

“If you’re not vaccinated, our message is simple: don’t bother participating in a bar crawl this weekend,” Bhalla said in a statement.

Facebook/Santacon Hoboken
Facebook/Santacon Hoboken

Hoboken business licenses threatened

The order is in effect on Saturday and Sunday only. It will be up to each business to check vaccination status and anyone not able to produce proof must be denied entry.

Customers must also provide proof of identification that matches their vaccination card.

Businesses that violate the order face potential closure, liquor license revocation or disciplinary suspension. The city’s Office of Emergency Management will oversee compliance.

SantaCon 2018 Descends On London
SantaCon in London. Could also be a scene in Mile Square City. (Getty Images File)

SantaCon problems in Hoboken

The city cannot do anything to stop the private event in which customers dress up as jolly ol' St. Nick and walk from bar to bar creating large crowds inside and out.  Tickets are purchased ahead of time for each bar.

The event was canceled in 2020 because of gathering limits in place because of the pandemic. This year, despite the increase in cases, 10 clubs and restaurants are participating.

Hoboken SantaCon rules for compliance

  • Proof of vaccination will be required for indoor entry to the establishments participating in a bar crawl this Saturday and Sunday
  • Those who are fully vaccinated are two weeks removed from a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, utilizing the CDC guidelines
  • Staff at the bar or restaurant participating in a bar crawl will be required to ensure any patron entering the indoor establishment provides proof of full vaccination
  • Any individual without proof of vaccination must be denied entry by the establishment’s staff
  • Acceptable proof of vaccination must state individual’s first and last name and includes a CDC vaccination card, the Dockett mobile app, New York City COVID Safe App, and Excelsior Pass
  • Proof of identification must be required and must match the name listed on the vaccination card or applicable app.

New York City held its SantaCon the weekend of December 11 and Asbury Park the prior weekend.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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