The Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick has come a long way in the past few years, attempting to reach the hipster heights of its neighbors Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Well, here’s an honor Bushwick can hang its Santa hats on: According to emails sent to neighborhood bars, SantaCon is looking to start the unbridled boozing there in 2014.
For those unfamiliar with the annual event, SantaCon is a charity bar crawl for which participants are required to dress in St. Nick attire. Similar events are held all over the world, but New York City’s SantaCon has become especially notorious, with an op-ed in last year’s New York Times describing it as having “been distinguished by sexism, drunkenness, xenophobia, homophobia and enough incidents of public vomiting and urination to fill an infinite dunk tank.” Such chaos is to be expected when you have a roving band of up to 30,000 drunken Santas sauntering about.
Needless to say, when the Bushwick Daily broke the news the concern and backlash were immediate. “It’s the absolute worst thing ever. Worse than Saint Patrick’s Day!” an unnamed source said. “I literally can’t believe it’s coming to Bushwick!”
The leaked email from SantaCon coordinators seemed relatively polite, and preemptively addressed concerns. “SantaCon 2014 is coming to Bushwick on December 13 from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m.,” it read. “We are…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.”
And for all its issues, the event is charitable. SantaCon asks each crawler to donate $10 and participating bars to donate a percentage of their till to the organization, which then chooses a charity. Last year, SantaCon claimed it raised more than $60,000 for groups like Food Bank for NYC and Figment arts.
Still, SantaCon has a long way to go to shake its bad reputation. For example, the Bushwick Daily’s post detailing the announcement was headlined “Vomit Town USA.”
For interested revelers, the final SantaCon locations won’t be officially revealed until the day before the event, but donations are already being accepted. For Bushwick residents fearful of SantaCon fallout, it looks like you guys will want to find somewhere else on Saturday, December 13 to do your (more respectable) day drinking.