Things aren't going so well for the future Very Merry Jefftown SantaCon 2014. A number of neighborhood bars have already pledged to ban participants from their establishments, and now, the city's told organizers to keep the inebriated masses out of a local park. What ever is a puking Santa to do?
Though SantaCon organizers haven't officially applied for a permit, it seems the Parks Department caught wind of the fact that the group planned to kick off the December 13th festivities in Maria Hernandez Park, a tiny spit of land that can't possibly handle all the Santas and Slutty Elves threatening to descend upon it. "While no application was submitted, we communicated to the organizers of Santacon that Parks and the NYPD do not feel that Maria Hernandez Park can safely accommodate their estimated attendance—more than 1,000 people," Maeri Ferguson, a spokesperson for the department, told us in a statement. Last year, about 30,000 people participated in SantaCon. Maria Hernandez Park, for those who don't spend most weekday mornings running in circles around it, is comprised of about 6.87 acres, or two city blocks.
Beyond being banned from stuffing Santas inside Maria Hernandez Park, local establishments don't seem so thrilled about hosting thousands of beer-chugging St. Nicks, either, for some reason. On an episode of Roberta's Radio yesterday, owners of area bars Pearl's Social & Billy Club, Three Diamond Door, Roberta's, King's County Saloon and Montana's Trailhouse pledged to boycott SantaCon. Earlier today, Travis Boettcher, the owner of newcomer Left Hand Path released a statement decrying the event as "bad for the community." "We find it repulsive, and we wanted to go on the record to say that participants in this event are not welcome at our bar—or even our neighborhood, quite frankly," he said.
Though SantaCon organizers claim to be working with Bushwick's community board, yesterday City Councilmember Rafael Espinal, Jr. told us the CB was not aware of plans to hold the event in the area. Espinal has asked local establishments to boycott SantaCon, noting that over the years it has "grown out of control and left participating neighborhoods in shambles." It's unclear whether SantaCon organizers have an alternate location in mind, should Bushwick drive all the Santas out with pitchforks crafted from the bones of sober Grinches, but know this much: SantaCon, much like Sherman's Army, will blaze through a New York neighborhood come December 13th, leaving nothing but ashes and puddles of steaming hot urine in its wake.