NYPD and organizers hope for respectful SantaCon - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

NYPD and organizers hope for respectful SantaCon

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

SantaCon is the annual event where thousands of people take people dress like Santa Claus and take part in a pub crawl. This year it's supposed to start in the Lower East Side and head to Brooklyn.

The annual Santa-themed gathering is expected to draw thousands this weekend. NJ Transit and LIRR have both banned alcohol on board for 24 hours coinciding with the event.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says officers will be out in force.

Event organizers have promised to co-operate making their normally secret route plans public and adding volunteers. Organizers don't give media interviews but have said the intention isn't all about drinking and otherwise dumb behavior. Instead, participants and bars they frequent are urged to donate to charity. Messages on social media call on people to be respectful.

If some posters in a neighborhood on the Lower East Side are any indication, SantaCon is not welcome here.

Some people calling themselves the LES Dwellers have a problem with SantaCon pub crawlers. They went as far as declaring their neighborhood near Rivington Street a SantaCon-Free zone. The message on the flyers to con participants: "Take your body fluids and public intoxication elsewhere."

Katherine Consuelo-Johnson, a community board member in Hell's Kitchen, said that last year Santas were just sloppily out of control there. This year, SantaCon moved to the Lower East Side after a Hell's Kitchen police precinct urged bars there not to participate.


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