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'SantaCon Cancelled,' Declare Phony Fliers Found in East Village

By Allegra Hobbs | December 9, 2016 2:05pm | Updated on December 11, 2016 12:36pm
 Posters advertising the cancellation of SantaCon were found on some East Village streets Friday morning.
Posters advertising the cancellation of SantaCon were found on some East Village streets Friday morning.
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John Gallo

EAST VILLAGE — As the city braces itself for thousands of drunk Santas to take to the streets Saturday, some rogue locals seem to have made a last-ditch effort to ward off the revelry.

Fake posters spotted around the East Village on Friday morning declared the cancellation of controversial Christmas-themed pub crawl SantaCon, claiming the annual event was called off due to overwhelming complaints from city residents.

"New York City residents have petitioned to cancel SantaCon 2016 due to the types of people it attracts," reads the poster, spotted by East Village resident John Gallo plastered between Avenue A and Third Avenue around 9:30 a.m.

"This petition received overwhelming support. As a result, SantaCon 2016 and all future SantaCon celebrations have been cancelled within New York city limits. Residents of New York City thank you for your cooperation."

The posters also tick off a list of banned activities in light of the purported cancellation: "NO congregating in Santa costumes," "NO throwing up on the sides of buildings," "NO public sex acts," and "NO excessive drunkenness."

But the fliers are fakes, confirmed a representative for the celebration, and the Santas are still slated to kick off the crawl at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

"Since a SantaCon is simply a gathering of people dressed as Santa, I don't know how it could be canceled, even if it wasn't organized," noted SantaCon rep "Santa Ian" in an email, including an attached image of one of the fliers spotted by Gallo titled "lameassposter."

"I think, because the NYC SantaCon attracts so many people, there have been a few instances of bad behavior in the past and a small minority of residents have become very vocal as a result.

"I can assure you that it has not been canceled."

But the crawl has in the past been steered away from certain neighborhoods due to community concerns – it was re-routed around Hells Kitchen in 2013 in response to residents' concerns, and in 2014 were booted from Bushwick when residents and local businesses decried the plan to start in Maria Hernandez Park before hitting nearby bars. 

A Lower East Side group unsuccessfully tried to get the group banned from the neighborhood in 2014.

The celebration has long had a fraught history with locals due to public safety and quality of life concerns including public urination, death threats, and arrests

The phony posters, which seem to have been taken down as of 1 p.m. on Friday, bear the name of a group called "New York City Residents." A representative for the group did not immediately respond to an email sent to the address advertised on its website.