SantaCon Revelers Shut Out by Some—Welcomed by Others

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SantaCon, the annual New York bar crawl that collects 35,000 revelers in Santa suits, will be iced out by some bars when they hit the streets tomorrow. But others are ready to offer a cup of cheer. 

In November, Lt. John Cocchi of the NYPD's Midtown North precinct asked bars and clubs in Hell’s Kitchen not to let the Santas into their establishments after residents in the area complained that revelers were causing a ruckus late at night.

The problem is that the Santas take it too far, said Diana Egizi, who worked at an ice cream shop in the East Village during past SantaCons. "Just throwing up Santas, Santas who sort of stagger around, walk in the middle of the street almost getting hit by cars, yelling obscene things in front of children," she said.

Residents in the East Village are so fed up that they posted the below signs:

But Joanna Leban, an East Village bartender who worked during SantaCon for the past two years, said she never had a bad experience—and SantaCon is a big day for their business.

“It’s bigger than New Year’s Eve. It’s the best day of the year in terms of revenue,” Leban said. “I think with this economy, we need all the business we can get.”

Leban said as long as businesses prepare themselves with adequate staff and security, SantaCon will go smoothly.

Bar crawlers in Santa suits and other festive apparel will gather at 10 a.m. on Sunday in Tompkins Square Park, move around the East Village and make its way to Brooklyn.