SantaCon organizers announced Thursday that the annual pub crawl will be scaled back this year in light of a huge planned protest against police misconduct that's set for Saturday.
The anonymous group that runs the event, often derided for reports of drunken Santas parading the streets, said on its website that it doesn't want to interfere with the "Millions March" protest in Manhattan.
"SantaCon has respect and compassion for the hardworking municipal organizations of NYC as well as for the important civil rights demonstrations currently shaping our city's future," they wrote on SantaCon website. The SantaCon organizers put out a list of participating bars in the Hell's Kitchen and Herald Square. Organizers urged participants to visit only those locations instead of going on a free-for-all.
"Some of the feedback was that our surge of participants overwhelmed the specific area, so we're trying to disperse it into a neighborhood," said a SantaCon organizer who identified themselves as "Santa."
At least 42,000 protesters are expected to turn out at the "Millions March" rally's starting point at Washington Square Park on Saturday at 2 p.m. right around the time the bar crawl starts.
The past demonstrations over the last few weeks shut down major roadways in Manhattan that lasted into the early morning hours.