NEW YORK — The city that never sleeps looked a lot more like Tinseltown, as revelers from around the region showed up ready to party in their favorite Santa costumes.
That’s right: Santacon was back in New York City.
The festival returned Saturday, as armies of revelers bar-hopped in their best Santa Claus get-ups.
“It’s electric,” participant Josh Miller said. “The city is back … it’s so much fun!”
The red-and-white flashmob across Midtown brought out the holiday cheer in New Yorkers like Miller, a student at St. John’s.
He and his buddies rang in the festivities by visiting businesses that have fallen victim to COVID-19.
And for those who put “love” on their Christmas list this year, Santacon teamed up with the new dating app MeetNorth. It’s designed as New York City’s first spontaneous in-person dating app, and it’s aimed at connecting the tens of thousand of people who participate in Santacon festivities.
This year, there were consequences to any bad Santas who went a little too hard during the tipsy tradition: Police issued $25 tickets to anyone drinking alcoholic beverages on the streets, and both the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North have banned alcohol through Sunday afternoon.
Additionally, the city’s vaccine requirements remain in place, which means before the Christmas characters indulge in a festive cocktail or two, they’ll need to show proof of vaccination to enter a bar
“I actually just got the booster, so I feel safe,” participant Raymond Cheeze said.
Safety came first for the Santa-clad partgoers, who showed up ready to their best lives.
“We really just want to have fun with each other … and getting dressed up is the best part,” Chandini Pillai said.
All participants made a $13 donation, which will benefit several charities around the city.