Santa Con in Springfield: How to go and support the cause

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

There are three wishes in the Christmas stocking for Santa Con: to bring together friends and strangers to celebrate the nostalgia and fellowship of the holiday season; to spread your cheer for the United Way for all to hear: and to drink and be merry.

One of Springfield’s fastest-growing holiday celebrations, Santa Con will have more bustling than a North Pole toy workshop with activities and entertainment, 3-10 p.m. Saturday at Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co., 102 W. Columbia St. Admission is free and funds raised will go to the United Way.

Whether you’re more of a Cousin Eddie from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” Santa Claus or somewhere in between, Santa Con organizer Greg Rogers said the event appeals to everybody.

“Ever since our first year we’ve been surprised at it. Whether you wear a Santa suit or just an ugly sweater, it brings people together, whether you enjoy it as fellowship or nostalgia,” he said.

This year will include activities outside the brewery in the beer garden area, known as the Fireside Stage where there will be live music, a live broadcast from Chad Wilson and Springfield USA, a heated tent, fire pits and a hot bar featuring hot spiced cider, Irish coffee, peppermint hot chocolate and German gluhwein.

Indoors will have more live music and DJ Chill in between sets, new beer releases and a silent auction for items unique to the event including a custom-fit golf set with a PGA pro and large bourbon basket. Tickets are one for $5 and five for $20 and will be sold during the event; entrants do not have to be present to win.

The Santa Con Food Truck Rally will offer several dining choices as well.

A high point of Santa Con is the costume contests, one for best Santa costume and one for most original costume with prizes going to the top three in each category. Past winners have been a Buckeye Santa and Cousin Eddie tributes have won multiple times.

“The variety and creativity for the costume contests is awesome. You see Cousin Eddies, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Buddy the Elf and lots of other stuff,” Rogers said. “We encourage everybody to dress up, even if they don’t compete.”

Another new touch is a Christmas tree village where around 12 businesses sponsor a tree and will decorate them on Friday evening and voting for the best will be on Saturday. On Sunday, the trees will be donated to those in need.

Rogers said the funds raised from sponsors, the auction, t-shirt sales and the costume contest brings in about $10,000 for United Way, which goes along with the season’s spirit of giving.

How to go

What: Santa Con

Where: Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co., 102 W. Columbia St., Springfield

When: 3-10 p.m. Saturday

Admission: Free

More info: