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Tomorrow, thousands of people dressed as Santa Claus will invade New York, but hopefully they will be on their best behavior, unlike previous years. After complaints about drunkenness and other rowdy behaviors, the event’s organizers are trying to keep things clean this year.
Last month, WABC reported that the NYPD sent letters to bars in Manhattan, asking them not to serve alcohol to anyone dressed as Santa. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at the time that he supports the event, but “There has been some rowdy activity by a small handful of people.”
The annual tradition isn’t unique to New York, but it is the biggest there, with 30,000 people expected to show up in Santa gear, notes ABC News. But that tradition has come with misbehaving Santas. New Yorkers are used to it, but it’s not exactly the image kids should have just days before Christmas.
"I think New Yorkers generally are extremely tolerant of visitors but when they come in such droves and then combine that with public intoxication, it has a negative impact in our neighborhoods,” state Sen. Brad Hoylman told ABC.
According to the Associated Press, the SantaCon organizers have gotten the message, declaring on their site, “This year, we are cleaning up Santa's act." The Daily News also reported that organizers plan to work with the police to keep things under control.
The loosely organized group’s site says there are SantaCons being planned in 44 countries and 316 locations.
— santacon (@santacon) December 11, 2013
So, to all the Santas heading into NYC on Saturday, if you don’t want the real Santa to give you a lump of coal, behave!
image: Wikimedia Commons