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SantaCon: Claus' style takes over Manhattan

Santa impersonators crowd the South Street Seaport in

Santa impersonators crowd the South Street Seaport in Manhattan for SantaCon. (Dec. 10, 2011) Credit: Melanie Monte

It is far from uncommon to see someone dressed like a celebrity on the streets of Manhattan. Just walk through the East Village on any given day and you'll see at least a dozen Mary-Kate Olsen look-alikes.

But if imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, a bearded guy in red outshined every A-lister Saturday, making the biggest fashion statement of the year.

It was SantaCon (short for Santa Conference), an event that brings red suit-clad revellers to Manhattan and other participating cities around the world each holiday season for a day of fun in the name of good old Saint Nick.

Part pub crawl and part parade, participants crowd the streets, bars and subways dressed as everything from reindeer and Christmas trees to menorahs and gingerbread men. There's just one rule: dress up or go home. Just throwing on a Santa hat doesn't cut it, the official SantaCon website warns. 

If you missed it, you can still let your inner Santa out at Long Island's first SantaCon Dec. 17 at  Bayville Winter Wonderland and Shipwreck Tavern in Bayville. What if your wardrobe doesn't include a Santa suit? The experts polled in Manhattan Saturday recommend shopping at Party City or

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