SantaCon 2018

Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Loved and loathed: SantaCon boozefest kicks off in Manhattan

December 08, 2018 - 2:03 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The annual, alcohol-fueled gathering of Santa look-alikes commenced Saturday, with thirsty Christmas characters descending on the city by the thousands to the joy, and dismay, of many. 

If you’re out and about in the city in the afternoon and evening, watch out for the sloppy Santas, some of whom have been known to brawl and puke.

The bars participating are in Midtown and the East Village. A full list of participating watering holes -- to join or avoid -- can be found here.

SantaCon is a global event, and photos coming in from London early Saturday showed revelers tossing around Brussels sprouts and vomiting in public.

Although the event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity, many New York bar owners have decided to take a hard pass for this year’s event. Some have even posted signs on their doors saying costumes aren’t allowed inside.

Many New Yorkers agree. A Manhattan resident named Bob told 1010 WINS he's not a fan. 

"It's a little over the top. I'd rather not have it," he said. "It's just drunken fools." 

Others have decided to welcome the crowds of Santas and elves since it's for a good cause. 

"Sometimes they behave very well," a man named Alex said. "I think they're having fun. I don't see anything wrong with it." 

Many revelers were already smashed when the event started at 1 p.m. One of them even sang for 1010 WINS.

“I love Christmas, yes I do! I love Christmas, how about you?” the man sang as his friends shouted, “We gonna celebrate!”

Robert Griffin trekked all the way from Suffolk County for the event. He said he loves the festive spirit of SantaCon. 

“The atmosphere, the people here. The environment. You gotta love it. There’s nothing better than SantaCon in 2018,” Griffin said.  

Annie was visiting from Colombia Saturday. She said she wanted to experience SantaCon firsthand. 

“If you’re in New York this time of the year, why not?” she said.

Both MetroNorth and LIRR have a 24-hour alcohol ban that started Saturday at noon.

NJ Transit won’t allow any beverages on its trains or buses for the day.

The NYPD will also be out in force with an increase presence to keep things safe.