LIRR, NJT ban booze ahead of Santacon

Jim Dolan explains there will be no drinking allowed on the trains for 24 hours.
December 12, 2013 8:32:01 PM PST
There's another attempt to crackdown on debauchery and drunkenness by a group of Santa Claus wannabees.

Some 30,000 will be converging on Manhattan for Santacon this Saturday.

Now, booze is getting banned for 24 hours on the LIRR and New Jersey Transit.

They're hoping that will keep things under control.

Santacon, in case you haven't been run over by it, is a massive influx into the city of people dressed in Santa Claus suits for a sort of citywide pub crawl that starts early and goes late.

"It was just terrible, they were throwing up in the streets it was really just disgusting. I just put a red suit on and have a good time," said Sandy Bachom, a sober Santa.

Sandy Bachom has been participating in Santacon for years, but she doesn't drink and most of her friends don't. She says that's not the point.

"It's the most fun I've ever had," Bachom said.

Of course many do drink, and intend to this weekend.

"It's devolved, sadly, and turned into something like a frat party and a lot of my constituents are concerned that it overruns the neighborhood," said State Sen. Brad Hoylman.

Some bars on the West Side have decided they won't serve anyone dressed in a Santa suit on Saturday, and now both the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit have now decided they won't allow alcohol on the train that day.

"We've reached out to Santacon and some of the volunteer organizers have come forward I'm happy to say, they've agreed to take certain safety measures including having volunteers to help manage crowds," Hoylman said.

The state senator doesn't seem optimistic about how effective the volunteers will be at controlling the 30,000 people dressed in Santa suits expected this weekend.

But there is a snow storm coming, and it could be a pretty good one, and that could keep a lot of Santas, drunken and otherwise, away from the city until the 25th.