Police: SantaCon a nuisance for Manhattan neighborhoods, spreads more vomit than holiday cheer

santacon
A reveler dressed as Santa Claus takes a nap during the annual Santacon event in 2010. Police think the event is too naughty for some Manhattan neighborhoods.
Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Police think SantaCon has become too naughty for some Manhattan neighborhoods.

The NYPD’s Midtown North Precinct urged some 30 bars, clubs and lounges in Midtown and Hell’s Kitchen to not welcome decked-out participants in the daylong bar crawl.

“The number of participants has grown large enough to completely overwhelm the sidewalks and public spaces. The past events have been extremely disruptive to the community members quality of life,” Lt. John Cocchi, who heads the precinct’s Special Operations division, wrote in a letter to members of the area’s Bar & Club Association this month. The request was first reported by DNAinfo New York.

Cocchi and residents have made similar pleas in recent community board meetings. During SantaCon, hundreds of drunken Santas, elves, reindeers flood Manhattan — spreading more than holiday cheer.

“Having thousands of intoxicated partygoers roam the streets urinating, littering, vomiting and vandalizing will not be tolerated in our neighborhood,” Cocchi wrote in the letter, asking the bars to “not sponsor this event in any way.”

SantaCon organizers did not respond to a request for comment, but the event’s website encourages participants to donate money for charities.

In 2012, the event raised $45,000 and 10,000 pounds of food for charity, according to the website.

Cocchi wrote in the letter that the event claimed to raise money for Toys for Tots last year but “this is totally false” and that SantaCon was not sanctioned by the charity.

According to the SantaCon website, participants donations will be given to the Food Bank for NYC, World Hoop Day, Figment Arts and other charities this year.

SantaCon is scheduled for Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. but its starting location won’t be announced until a week before. Cocchi wrote in the letter that this meant community boards won’t have time to try to redirect the event from their neighborhood.

“The negative impact that this event will bring to your community will far outweigh the short term benefit to your establishment,” Cocchi wrote.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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