New York’s SantaCon 2013 turned ugly on the streets of Manhattan. Every year thousands dress in Santa costumes for a pub crawl around New York City. This year, some naughty Santas, and one angry elf, became violent and started fighting with each other on Third Avenue and 17th street.
No one knows exactly what triggered the brawl, but alcohol played an integral part. SantaCon started in 1997, and many cities across the world participate. There are 146 locations where Santa pub crawls are held from Helena, Montana, to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. However, this year, native New Yorkers are speaking up about the disruptiveness it causes. Some even report Santas throwing up, urinating, and littering on the streets. Senator Brad Holyman stated, "I think New Yorkers generally are extremely tolerant of visitors, but when they come in such droves, and then combine that with public intoxication, it has a negative impact in our neighborhoods.”
Although there is a lot of controversy surrounding the SantaCon debauchery, some city officials show support of the event. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, “It’s what makes New York New York. There has been some rowdy activity by a small handful of people.” However, NYPD officers made sure to hand out fliers stating they would stop those who consumed alcohol publicly.
SantaCon NYC promises to straighten up and fly right. On the NYC SantaCon’s website, event organizers said, “SantaCon has had growing pains. . . With a little elbow-grease from the elves, a little patience from the community, and just a pinch of holiday magic, SantaCon can spread joy.”
Nobody wants to see Santas and elves beating each other up, it’s hardly the Christmas spirit. However, pub crawls, alcohol, and aggression can be a formula for disaster. If you think you have a problem with alcohol, addiction, or if you know someone who’s suffering, Passport to Recovery offers a list of credible addiction treatment centers that can help. For those who have suffered with addiction, being staying sober over the holidays is one of the greatest gifts.