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A parade of St. Nicks: SantaCon revelry returning to NYC and LI

People dressed as Santas gather for the start

People dressed as Santas gather for the start of SantaCon in Manhattan on Dec. 10, 2016. Credit: Corey Sipkin

The Santa Clauses are coming back to town.

After a one-year reprieve for the COVID-19 pandemic, the booze-drenched revelry of SantaCon — an event always well-attended by Long Islanders — will return to New York City at 10 a.m. on Dec. 11.

As in previous years, details about the event, including where it will kick off and which bars are participating, will not be revealed until a later date.

But organizers said participants must come dressed in full costume, provide proof of vaccination and give a $13 charitable donation, which will give all of the Santas and their merry elves access to all SantaCon NYC venues.

And after years of public drunkenness and poor behavior from old St. Nicks, SantaCon organizers said they will be working with the NYPD to ensure the event is safe for locals and Santas alike. They encourage Santas to cooperate with law enforcement and bar staff and to avoid children.

"Like other events, including the treasured West Village Halloween Parade, SantaCon has had growing pains," organizers said in a message on the event's website. "Santa agrees that there is no excuse for inappropriate behavior. Public drunkenness, urination or rude behavior is not only prohibited by the stated rules of the event, but actively discouraged by the crowds of Santas themselves, who are for the most part, responsible, creative community-minded New Yorkers."

Closer to home, the SantaCon Long Island Holiday Bar Crawl will make its return to Farmingdale on Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Details of the event were not immediately available. The event was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

The Long Island Rail Road does not anticipate any service changes for either SantaCon event, said MTA spokeswoman Joana Flores.

An alcohol ban on LIRR trains will be in place for the city's event, but a similar ban is not expected for Farmingdale, Flores said.

With John Asbury

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