NEW YORK — Santa Claus is coming to town. And he needs a drink.
SantaCon 2012 is hitting the streets of New York on Saturday, Dec. 15, for its annual pub-crawl. The holiday ritual, where thousands of revelers dressed in Santa costumes tour the city’s bars, is “non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical,” organizers say.
A few changes will mark this year’s SantaCon, which kicks off at 10 a.m. on Pier 84 on West 44th Street and the Hudson River.
In the past, the SantaCon route was undisclosed, and last year, the Santas caused mayhem in lower Manhattan, where locals accused them of flouting public drinking and urination laws.
This year, organizers have posted a loose route that the city’s Kris Kringles can follow, and organizers hope the new route will keep the SantaCon revelers from leaving behind traffic, trash, and “traumatized New Yorkers” in their wake.
“Santa” will also send out tweets on @santacon when he plans to move to a different location.
Santas will start drinking in Hell’s Kitchen and Midtown from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., getting their dose of spiked eggnog at bars like Hudson Terrace at 621 West 46th St. and Beer Authority at 300 West 40th St.
From 2 p.m. onwards, Santa will take his sleigh through Midtown traffic till 4:30 p.m., stopping at the gentlemen’s club Rick’s Cabaret at 50 West 33rd St. and soaking up the view at 230 5th.
Santa and his red-nosed revelers will take their partying to the East Village from 4:30 to 7 p.m., stopping at spots like Professor Thom’s at 219 2nd Ave., all the way to The Village Lantern at 167 Bleeker St.
Finally, the crawl ends in Williamsburg where Santas can mingle in spots like Berry Park at 4 Berry St. and Spike Hill Music Hall at 186 Bedford Ave.
But Mr. Claus isn’t heading back to the North Pole just yet. The holiday punch will keep flowing at The Warsaw Santa’s After-Party at 261 Driggs Ave. from 7:30 p.m. onwards.
Santas can also take part in the SantaCon food-drive by bringing at least two non-perishable food items to the day of revelry. For collection points and more information, visit the SantaCon NYC website.