A mass gathering of people dressed like Jolly Saint Nick takes place in cities worldwide on Saturday, Dec. 17, including in Seaside Heights. The annual SantaCon event centers around drinking, but also raises donations for charities.


SantaCon Seaside Heights was organized by Jim Leitner, a manager at Captain Hooks Bar, four years ago.

"I heard about the New York City SantaCon and it seemed like a lot of fun and I figured it would be a great way to get people into the town and to donate to charity," said Leitner.

Participation and donations of toys, food and money for local nonprofits increase each year, and Leitner is hoping this year has an even bigger impact. He also noted that Chive Charities, an organization which provides donated funds to specific individuals in need, is involved and will help someone from New Jersey.

"I'm thinking at least 1,500 people, maybe 2,000. We're hoping to make $3,000 for charity," Leitner said.

It's free to participate in SantaCon Seaside Heights, but those who would like to make a $25 donation will get a logo mug and patch and entry into a Poker Run at eight bars in Seaside Heights. Those bars include Captain Hooks, EJ's Tap House, Riggers Bar, Jax Garage, Beachcomber Bar & Grill, Sawmill, Hemingway's Cafe, and JR's Ocean Bar & Grill.

Leitner explained each bar will have a deck of cards and participants will have a card that gets marked by bartender to indicate which one they picked. After visiting each of the eight bars, whoever has the best hand will win a prize. "The top five hands will win," said Leitner.

SantaCon Seaside Heights kicks off at Noon this Saturday. Complete details and a full schedule of events can be found here: http://www.santaconshnj.com.

Contact reporter Dianne DeOliveira at Dianne.DeOliveira@townsquaremedia.com.


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