Hundreds of Santas descend on New York for SantaCon bar crawl

The 20th Annual SantaCon brought hundreds of festive revellers to New York last Saturday, 8 December. Attendees, who all dress as Santa, braved the freezing temperatures as they took part in a citywide bar crawl.

Image: @santacon (Twitter).

The Saint Nick themed merrymakers made stops at five dozen bars, pubs and karaoke spots as they made their way from Hell’s Kitchen, through Midtown and Chelsea before finishing in the East Village.

In the past, city officials have called for bar and restaurant owners to boycott the event for fear of rowdiness, littering, vomiting and public urination. This year they had no cause to be concerned though, as the police reported no arrests or major incidents.

The authorities prepared by announcing a 24 hour alcohol ban for those in mass transit, coming into effect at noon on Saturday. This had little effect on attendees, some of whom had been drinking since as early as 8:30am!

In recent years, SantaCon organisers have moved to rebrand the event as a charitable fundraiser centred on festive spirit and merriment. Previously they had held back the route until the night before to the annoyance and anger of unprepared locals. Recently, however, coordinators published the route well in advance to avoid harming relations with the locals.

The annual Christmas event is now held in nearly 400 cities across the US and the rest of the world according to Santacon’s website.

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