Celebrations in Downtown Binghamton can take visitors by surprise in their variety of motivations and participants.

SantaCon participants on Lewis Street in downtown Bignhamton. (Photo: WNBF News)

December 1, visitors to Downtown were met by hundreds of young Santas and elves heavily into their holiday “spirits” for the annual SantaCon bar crawl.  Police reported responding to several incidents involving disorderly conduct or medical issues before the mainly college-aged crowd dispersed in the early evening.

The following night, a procession of over two dozen vehicles made its way through downtown and on to the Binghamton University Campus for the Menorah Parade, marking the first night of Hanukah.

Just a few days later, the flavor downtown again takes a swing with the second annual Ivory Christmas event December 6 and 7 and the 7th annual Santa Run on Sunday, December 9.

The Gorgeous Washington Street area is festooned with holiday lights and five decorated pianos have been put in place and tuned for local musicians to entertain with seasonal songs.  Music fills the air from 5 to 7:30 p.m. December 6 and 5 to 9 p.m. December 7.

The 5K Santa Run/Walk is at 11 a.m. December 9 and is hosted by Saint John the Evangelist School.  There is a quarter mile run for children beginning at 10 a.m.. Sign-in is at 9 a.m.  Registration is $30 dollars, which can be made online through December 7.  Runners are encouraged to dress in holiday garb with prizes given for best seasonal costume and it doesn’t necessarily have to be Santa or Mrs. Claus.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is in on the act with refreshments and holiday music and many downtown establishments are offering hot chocolate or lunch specials.

Information about Binghamton’s Santa Run, which was the first in the state when it started in 2011, can be found at www.binghamtonsantarun.com.