Ray Kelly gives SantaCon his blessing
According to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, any cops trying to suppress the spirit of SantaCon have hearts three sizes too small.
“This is an event that we support,” Kelly said of the annual holiday pub crawl on Friday. “It’s what makes New York New York.”
The commissioner’s comments came after a Hell’s Kitchen precinct last week asked bar owners to ban revelers bedecked in Santa suits and sexy elf costumes due to past years’ events where the fun got a little out of hand.
Kelly said blocked sidewalks and occasional fights were not sufficient reason to crack down on the beloved event.
“There have been some rowdy actions by a small handful of people in the past,” he said. “I think that’s why the officers in Midtown North were trying to at least alert the tavern owners in that area.”
However, he said, “generally, it’s a peaceful event and one that we want to support and facilitate.”
This year’s SantaCon is set for Dec. 14. Last year, the event raised $45,000 for various charities.
On the event’s official website, the anonymous organizers list “The 4 F’s of SantaCon,” which urge participants — in language Santa could only describe as “naughty” — not to mess with kids, cops, bar staff, or NYC in general.
Danielle Tcholakian contributed reporting. Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports