The MTA wants to keep you off the naughty list.
On Monday, the agency announced that as in years past, it will ban the consumption of alcohol on Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains from 4 a.m. on Saturday through noon on Sunday, to manage rowdiness around New York City’s annual SantaCon.
Each year, hundreds flock to the city draped in “head-to-toe” themed Santa Claus costumes for the festive pub crawl.
This year’s event will take place on Saturday at 10 a.m. The neighborhood in question: midtown Manhattan.
“Ensuring everyone has access to safe and orderly travel is a top priority,” MTA Police Chief John Mueller said in a statement.
Alcohol consumption will also be prohibited on all LIRR and Metro-North station platforms during these hours.
In addition, the MTA Police department said it will have an increased presence at Penn Station and Grand Central to enforce the weekend alcohol restrictions. Police said they will confiscate alcoholic beverages and issue summonses.
Violators may be subject to removal from trains or stations.
Created in 1997 and celebrated in cities worldwide, SantaCon is a “charitable, nonpolitical, nonsensical Santa Claus convention," its website says, that happens “once a year to spread absurdist joy.”
All ticket proceeds go toward various charities, such as the food organization City Harvest, Clowns Without Borders, and the voter registration nonprofit Head Count, according to organizers.
Its website enforces a "Santa Code" of spreading peace, respecting police, bar staff and other participants, but that hasn't always been the reality. The event has faced widespread opposition from New York City community members who have accused Santas of littering, public urination and vandalizing their neighborhoods. Residents in years past have gone so far as to put up flyers calling on Santas to stay away, according to The New York Times.
A Long Island SantaCon is planned the following weekend, on Dec. 16, in Farmingdale from noon to 4 p.m., followed by an after-party until 8 p.m.
With John Asbury