New Yorkers are bracing for Saturday, when SantaCon returns and thousands of people dressed as Santa Claus drink their way through Manhattan.
Zohaib Shah, the owner of Darucci Leather on Orchard Street, says SantaCon revelers often misbehave and it can be a challenging day for business.
“They bang on the window. They wanna use the bathroom, restroom and stuff and obviously we don’t want everyone to get in,” said Shah.
What You Need To Know
SantaCon is an annual event where people dress like Santa Claus and drink at participating bars throughout Manhattan
The event helps raise money for charity
The festivities are known to get unruly but organizers say they work with the NYPD and the Mayor’s Special Activity Permit office to ensure a “jolly and spirited day for all"
After six years on this block, though, Shah says he knows how to handle the extra holiday spirit: he hires security guards.
Despite the often rowdy revelry, the annual event helps raise money for charity. Each year, participants can purchase tickets and enjoy special promotions at participating bars like Gramercy Ale House in Gramercy Park.
“We only participate pretty much in the afternoon early evening and then we actually close up clean, assess the damage, restock and then open up in a non-santa capacity,” said the ale house’s manager, Stephen Shea.
Stephen Shea says the bar has participated in SantaCon for about eight years and that each year it’s gone well. He says hiring extra security and stocking the bar with plastic cups has helped it to be a safe and enjoyable experience. He believes the event is a positive for the city, especially after the pandemic.
“It brings life into the city especially, you know, the last couple of years where, especially during COVID, everything was kind of a little depressing, especially around the holidays. Now, to see it kind of coming back and people are celebrating, I think it’s a good thing,” said Shea.
The event is known to get unruly but organizers say they work with the NYPD and the Mayor’s Special Activity Permit office to ensure a “jolly and spirited day for all.”
While Shah and Shea have different takes on the day, they do agree on one thing:
“Have fun and be safe” said Shah.
“Tip your bartenders and behave yourselves” said Shea.
The hope is that everyone participating ends up on Santa’s nice list when Christmas arrives.