Hark the herald angels sing: SantaCon is no longer coming to (Jeff)town.
City Councilmember Rafael Espinal Jr., who's been spearheading the anti-crawl campaign since Monday's announcement, told Community Board 4 Wednesday night that the organizers of the annual Christmas-themed debauchery agreed to bow out of Bushwick.
"Why we're so cool in the first place is because of who we are now, not what we're gonna become 10 years from now, not what SantaCon is going to bring us," Espinal said at the meeting. "We don't need the added revenue. Bushwick is doing well without it."
According to Espinal, SantaCon organizers have agreed to mass elsewhere in the city on December 13th. Bushwick may seem like the kind of rave-hosting, trendy bar haven that comes with being the 7th Coolest Neighborhood in the World, but SantaCon opponents emphasized that it's still a community made up of many working class families who would not be welcoming the event.
"Our community's growing and changing, but we still have a lot of young children here," CB 4 District Manager Nadine Whitted pointed out. "To have them witness the image of Santa Claus, to see that image being destroyed with whatever this group is going to bring, I think is something that couldn't come here."
One SantaCon organizer claiming to be "Santa" told amNY, "We've had interest from quite a few Bushwick bars but, after our initial exploration, the team at SantaCon NYC has determined that Bushwick does not have the capacity to be an appropriate destination for this year's celebration. We appreciate local businesses' willingness to work with our charity event and we thank all of them for their support." (At the same time, many bars said they would refuse to open their doors to tipsy elves or rowdy reindeer.)
Here's a prepared statement from Espinal:
Today a representative of SantaCon reached out to me to discuss both my concerns with the event and the concerns raised by small businesses and local leaders. As I said earlier in the week, what makes Bushwick so great is that its a low-key diverse community—one that is not accustomed to the size and scope of an event like SantaCon. That team at SantaCon NYC agreed that our neighborhood is not the best choice for the 2014 event and confirmed SantaCon would find a new location. I want to publicly thank SantaCon organizers for their quick response and respect for the community concerns, and I wish them the best of luck on a sage and successful event.
It's unclear where SantaCon will stagger now, but we all know there's no stopping Santa, unless there's a big blizzard and he decides to just cancel Christmas.
Jessica Warriner contributed reporting.