This year's Santacon marked the first year I ventured to Oakland for the 10am pre-party. If you've ever wanted to know what Santacon's early risers look like, Candy Raver Santa pretty much sums it up. Rather than the typical parade of frat boys, Oakland was full of something much more loathed by civil society: Burners. Half of the people there had dots of glitter glued to their heads. Most were in costumes far more creative than the ordinary Santa suit. Some had Burning Man tattoos. Most smelled like they had been getting sauced since sunrise.
One woman in the crowd had a red Radio Flyer wagon that was full of boxes of sugar cookies, liquor, speakers bumping techno, and a stuffed animal snowman with a long plastic tube sticking out of its head. The tube struck me as suspicious, but only cops ask questions, so went to procure something that would make me forget that I was in Oakland. As I emerged from the bar, a woman was screwing a nitrous canister into the back of the snowman's head. I attempted to dump an Irish Coffee down my esophagus out of desperation, but the landscape was dominated by a crowd of people knocking back whip-its.
Say what you will about Burners, but they had already won at Santacon before most of you even got out of bed.