SantaCon Nixes Lower East Side from Route After Complaints

Lower East Side residents had been pressuring bars to not serve customers in the Santa suits

Friday, Dec 13, 2013  |  Updated 6:40 PM EDT
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Some pub owners want those participating in SantaCon to go somewhere else for drinks.  Ida Siegal reports

Some pub owners want those participating in SantaCon to go somewhere else for drinks. Ida Siegal reports

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This weekend's upcoming SantaCon bar crawl will no longer snake through the Lower East Side after residents there complained about the event and urged bars not to serve the notoriously rowdy Santa-costumed patrons.

The LES Dwellers, a local grassroots community group, announced Friday the official SantaCon parade route will be skipping the Lower East Side on Dec. 14.

"We expect some Santas will deviate from the route into the Lower East Side," Diem Boyd, LES Dwellers founder, said in a statement. "Hopefully, event organizers and the NYPD will keep participants on course to reduce the negative effects on residents and communities."

The bar crawl will go on through the East Village and parts of Brooklyn as originally planned. 

Lower East Side residents had been putting up posters asking bars not to serve participants in the annual SantaCon bar crawl on Saturday.

"The purpose of the sign is to call attention to the issues that come up from the drinking, the puking, the vomit that we have in the streets in our neighborhoods that we have to clean up the next morning," said David Troutman.

SantaCon, which this year starts at 10 a.m,  raises money for several local charities, according to the event's website. Merrymakers are given the crawl's route throughout the day via social media.

The event's website warns participants to behave themselves.

"Santa's been getting a lot of slack for the way we’ve been to this fine city," the website says. "So this year we are cleaning up Santa’s act."

The Long Island Railroad and NJ Transit are also doing their part to keep SantaCon participants from getting too jolly. Both rail systems have banned alcohol on trains Saturday. 

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