On Saturday, the streets of Manhattan were crowded with thousands of Santa Clauses for a traditional pre-Christmas event, the so-called SantaCon. It combines feasts in pubs, bars and restaurants with fundraising for charity.
Crowds of people dressed as Santa Clauses, as well as elves, snowflakes, etc., started having fun with plenty of alcohol in the morning. First, they occupied eateries in midtown Manhattan. As the day progressed, they moved downtown, and the revelry ended in the East Village in the evening.
Organizers encouraged participants to donate $15 each at the entrance to pubs. They ured that the money would be donated to charity.
“Because drinking parties, which also attract residents of the New York area, sometimes cause chaos and disruptions, commuter rail lines from New Jersey and the New York suburbs have banned pengers from drinking alcohol on Manhattan-bound trains from 4 a.m. Saturday until noon on Sunday,” ABC noted.
The police department warned revelers that city regulations prohibiting alcohol consumption on the street are still in effect.
“Ensuring everyone has access to safe and orderly travel is a top priority. The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, and we want everyone to get to their destinations efficiently, on time, and enjoy the event,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Police Chief John Mueller said in announcing the restrictions.
The organizers also post extensive regulations on their website. It requires, among others: that Santa wears a full costume, no “just a hat” nonsense, and is of legal drinking age (21). They advise people to behave appropriately in bars, pay in cash and donate to charity.
“Santa Claus spreads JOY: Not terror. Do not vomit. Don’t litter. (…) Nicholas cares about PEACE. Not a fight. If you have an argument with a pissed off Santa, leave. (…) Nicholas never exceeds his limits when drinking,” say some of the numerous directives.
Andrzej Dobrowolski from New York (PAP)