SantaCan wraps up 3 Portland crawls

PORTLAND, Ore. - It's that time of year, for holiday revelers to celebrate the legend of Santa Claus as they check out Portland pubs ... all in the name of SantaCan 2010.

Some of the Santas sort of looked like Santa. Sort of. They had white beards and a red jacket. But most of them looked more like a Santa that had fallen on hard times - with a drinking problem and no fashion sense.

And the Mrs. Santas? Well....

Santacan has become such a favorite excuse to party in Portland (not that everyone in Portland needs an excuse to party) that this year there are several iterations of the annual world-wide event.

On Saturday, Dec. 18, the Santacan (not Santacon, but Santacan; event organizer "Willy Gandolf" says that's because you "can" make the pub crawl to the "12 pubs of Christmas") began at Club 915 around noon. Sort of. Like most Santacans, it was chaotic at best - which seems to be part of the whole point - and a lot of Santas thought they were supposed to meet at the Skidmore Fountain or Pioneer Square.

Eventually though, enough Santas arrived at Club 915 for a quorum (this reporter has no idea how many Santas make a quorum, but apparently about 50 will suffice).

After a drink or five, they began the actual crawl: 2.97 miles with stops for refreshments at another dozen watering holes. This can seem like a marathon when you're legally toeing the line.

However, a good time seemed to be had by all. And it was more than a good time for some or even most.

As one participant explained, the event in Portland is more creative than other cities in the U.S. That participant goes by the name Snacks.

This year Portland played host to three "SantaCan" pub crawls, gathering on Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18. This city's events rank among 180 other SantaCan spots in 25 countries worldwide.

It's all part of keeping Portland weird, said Willy Gandolf. Weird, loud and happy.

And more than just a little bit drunk.

Watch Dan Morrison's video of Saturday's SantaCan event:

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