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New York SantaCon 2011: Were drunken Santas too jolly?

santadrunk122211_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Ho ho ho, you’d better watch out. They do not pout, they do not cry. They are jolly.

Every December, beginning in 1994, groups of people dressed as Santa Claus have been visiting cities around the world, for annual Santacon festivities. But this year Santa got a little too jolly in New York.

DNAinfo.com reported that thousands of drunken Santas rampaged through Lower Manhattan this month, causing complaints to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York Police Department. According to residents, Santas were buying six-packs of bottled beer and then standing in the middle of Fulton Street drinking and shattering the empty bottles.

The group makes no effort to hide their intentions. SantaCon NYC Facebook page calls the event “Santarchy.” They describe it as a madcap drunken joyous wandering of the city streets we know and love. Witnesses have seen hip hop Santas, Santa Ninjas, and Hanukkah Harrys.

Organizers say the holiday ritual is "non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical," Participants are encouraged to dress like Santa, sound like Santa, give out presents like Santa, and drink like Santa. DNAinfo.com mentions that Santas are asked to bring non-perishable food items for donations to the starting point and only visit bars that donate to Toys for Tots.

According to nycsantacon.com, this year’s collection of Santas donated over 6,000 lbs of food to food banks in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The final numbers for Toys for Tots donations are said to be in the thousands of dollars.

Santa's official position on the matter was stated on their website: "Santa does not accept corporate sponsorship or speak to the press."

 

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