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SantaCon Will Start in Brooklyn This Year, Police Say

By  Lisha Arino and Nicole Levy | December 4, 2015 5:12pm | Updated on December 6, 2015 7:03pm

 Crowds wait in line for beer during SantaCon 2014.
Crowds wait in line for beer during SantaCon 2014.
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DNAinfo/Rosa Goldensohn

EAST VILLAGE — Santa and thousands of his merry elves are planning to kick off the controversial bar crawl in Brooklyn this year, according to a police source.

Despite a failed attempt to hold last year’s event in Bushwick, SantaCon organizers are going forward with their plans to begin the boozefest in Brooklyn, although it is unclear where the hordes of Santas will meet, the source told DNAinfo New York.

From there, thousands of revelers will head to the East Village, although there is no official route yet, the source said.

Organizers have been tightlipped about this year’s event, refusing to say which neighborhoods they plan to visit until the night before the Dec. 12 crawl, when they traditionally reveal the route.

Organizers did confirm to DNAinfo, however, that they were working with the NYPD “and their community affairs team to map out a route for our celebration.”

Although the event has attracted tens of thousands of participants, SantaCon has drawn ire from local residents, who say they witness various types of naughty behavior whenever the crowds come to town.

Last year, SantaCon organizers pulled out of a plan to begin in Bushwick after the community rallied against it.

Afterward, the L.E.S. Dwellers, a neighborhood group in the Lower East Side, called on local bars to make the area a “SantaCon Free Zone.” Community Board 4 in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen also feared the annual bacchanal was headed their way when two “renegade” members appeared before its Quality of Life committee.

Organizers scaled down last year’s SantaCon in response to an Eric Garner protest that was also happening that day, encouraging participants to patronize a predetermined list of bars and to act respectfully.

The decision came on the heels of SantaCon’s announcement of a “transition” that aimed to turn the bar crawl into a holiday tradition like the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. It is unclear however, if any changes were made for this year’s SantaCon.

There were zero arrests and zero citations issues last year, organizers told DNAinfo in an email earlier this week.