LIRR to ban alcohol for 37 hours during Santacon weekend

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NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) — Hundreds of Santa Clauses will take over New York City Saturday as part of NYC SantaCon 2014.

Some are ready to join the fun — others are not so happy about the festivities.

The Long Island Railroad announced Wednesday that alcohol will be banned on all trains for 37 hours — from 11 p.m. Friday until noon on Sunday (Dec. 12-14).

The annual festive New York City pub crawl that raises money for charity has received backlash from residents for it’s reindeer games.

It has been criticized for public drunkenness and vomiting by some Manhattan and Brooklyn residents. Some bars have banned the Santa’s this year, while others are welcoming them with open arms.

SantaCon is promoting a #DontScroogeSantaCon hashtag this year in an attempt to curb bad behavior.

“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. NYC Santa realizes that he has a responsibility to New York City and its citizens. Santa Loves NYC.”

With the seasonal backlash against the group in full swing, organizers have hired famous civil rights lawyer Norman Siegal to represent them.

While the NYC SantaCon organizers have usually refused to speak with the press, the group is now reaching out to media with a statement: 

“Santacon is largely a collection of diverse social communities who come together in a festive culture jam that not only pokes fun at America’s consumerist holiday but raises money and donations, in the true spirit of holiday giving. Santacon also brings considerable economic activity to restaurants, bars, delis and many other local businesses, small and large.”

According to the SantaCon website, “Santacon began in 1994 as San Francisco’s Santarchy, a culture-jamming event created by the Cacaphony society to point out the absurdity of America’s consumerist holiday traditions. Over the past 20 years, it’s grown to an annual tradition in its own right.”

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