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Red-suited SantaCon pub crawl revelers fan out across NYC

SantaCon revelers wait in line to enter a bar Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, in New York. (Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)
SantaCon revelers wait in line to enter a bar Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, in New York. (Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)
Associated Press

NEW YORK – Red-suited revelers fanned out across New York City’s bars Saturday despite efforts by a community group to deter the annual pub crawl known as SantaCon.

Fliers that claimed SantaCon had been canceled went up in some neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn as the holiday bacchanal approached.

The group behind the fliers, New York City Residents, wants the rowdy event to shut down permanently.

SantaCon has ballooned to thousands of people over the years. It grew from a 1994 San Francisco “Santarchy” that satirized Christmas consumerism into bashes in over 300 cities. New York’s is generally the biggest, an event that has earned an out-of-control reputation with summonses in the past issued for disorderly conduct and other offenses, and online videos of brawling St. Nicks.

Organizers describe SantaCon as a creative take on holiday traditions of festive dress and good cheer. They say it also raises tens of thousands of dollars for charity.

Metro-North, NJ Transit and the Long Island Rail enforced an alcohol ban on trains and stations in anticipation of the event.

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