NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The massive annual SantaCon New York City bar crawl was underway on Saturday.
This year’s official route did not include the Lower East Side after residents put up posters telling the revelers to stay away but the crawl still included the East Village and Brooklyn.
In past years the partygoers in Santa suits have been blamed for public disturbances.
Ahead of the event the Long Island Rail Raid and Metro-North Railroad announced a 24-hour alcohol ban that will run through noon Sunday in an effort to maintain order.
MTA police officers were also on duty at Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, and on trains to enforce the restriction, 1010 WINS reported.
By mid morning there were swarms of pseudo Santas dancing around Tompkins Square Park, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported.
Before noon those revelers had made their way to bars around Manhattan’s East Village where the funhouse mirror image of Jolly St. Nick enchanted and enraged residents.
“It’s fine, people having fun,” one resident said.
“I hate SantaCon,” another countered.
Despite some Lower East Side residents declare their neighborhood a Santa Free Zone and some bars vowing to kick out Santas many bars welcomed the merry mob and collected donations for charity as part of the event.
“I donated 10 bucks it was for the Food Bank of New York. It’s for a great cause so all the kids will be hungry,” one Santa said.
Police displayed a mostly chill attitude towards the action, CBS 2’s Langford reported, but fire officials did have to step in to deal with overcrowding at some bars.
For more information on SantaCon, including this year’s route click here
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