One Bushwick bar owner opened his inbox the other day, only to find out with terror that Santacon, the (in)famous bar crawl of thousands of drunken Santas, will be held in Bushwick this year.
“I’ve worked on SantaCon while bartending in the East Village,” the bar owner, who wishes for his identity to remain obscure, told Bushwick Daily. “It’s the absolute worst thing ever. Worse than Saint Patrick’s Day! I literally can’t believe it’s coming to Bushwick!” he continued. “I can’t think of anyone that would let drunk vomiting Santas into their bars in this hood. I’m guessing they will be aimlessly walking around.”
This year’s SantaCon will be held on December 13 from 10AM to 2PM in Bushwick. The route of the drunken Santas is traditionally revealed only on the day of the bar crawl but Bushwick bars received this email from SantaCon representatives:
“SantaCon 2014 is coming to Bushwick on December 13th from 10am till 2pm. We would like to list your venue as one of our participating locations. We are also partnering with the local police precinct, community board and parks department. We are operating as a completely legal and transparent entity that wants to celebrate our annual creative charity event.
If we list your venue, it will be FULL of paying patrons from the hours of 10am to 2pm. In return we ask that you donate a percentage of your ring from those hours to a charity of our choice and that you be fully staffed, as if it was New Year’s night. We will provide all holiday music/entertainment. At 2pm we will send out a message to all participants to move to the next location. At that time, you can continue to serve our participants or you can push them out and shut your doors.”
So brace yourself, Bushwick, because we will be facing estimated 30,000 participants roaming the streets of Bushwick from 10AM until the last Santa falls asleep somewhere on a bench at Maria Hernandez Park. “SantaCons of years past have been distinguished by sexism, drunkenness, xenophobia, homophobia and enough incidents of public vomiting and urination to fill an infinite dunk tank,” wrote about SantaCon the NY Times in 2013.
Last year Lt. John Cocchi sent an open letter to around 30 bars in Midtown and East Village urging them not to sponsor this event in any way: “The number of participants has grown large enough to completely overwhelm the sidewalks and public spaces… Having thousands of intoxicated partygoers roam the streets urinating, littering, vomiting and vandalizing will not be tolerated in our neighborhood,” read the letter.
Based on the email sent to Bushwick bars, it seems that SantaCon has worked with authorities including Community Board 4, which is really hard to imagine given that our church-going Community Board has had routinely hard time allowing additional liquor licenses to new bars because they were concerned about the influence of drunkenness on families and “the kind of activity going on at night … seven days a week, oftentimes beyond midnight,” as reported by DNAinfo.
Each participant of SantaCon is officially required to pay $10 to participate which SantaCon donates to charity in hopes of feeling better about their holiday boozing.
The Bushwick bar owner we talked to told us that his bar will not participate in Bushwick SantaCon. However,”it doesn’t even matter though,” he sighed. “It’s after the bar crawl when it becomes a nightmare. At 4PM when everyone shows up drinking since 10AM it’s a mess. Vomit town USA.”