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SantaCon pub crawl gets scrutiny from lawmakers seeking to curb annual rowdiness

Participants in the 2014 SantaCon gather in Times

Participants in the 2014 SantaCon gather in Times Square. New York lawmakers are looking for ways to make the pub crawl less rowdy. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Don Emmert

City and state elected officials are pushing SantaCon organizers and the New York State Liquor Authority to make the controversial pub crawl less of a nuisance.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman sent a letter, co-signed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Councilman Dan Garodnick and nine others, to both parties expressing their concerns about Saturday's event. Hoylman, who represents parts of the West Side and Greenwich Village, said as many as 25,000 people are expected to take part in SantaCon, and because its exact location is revealed at the last minute, residents and businesses are taken by surprise every year.

The exact location for this year's con will be released in the coming days, though reports have said it will span Bushwick and Greenwich Village.

There have been several instances over the years of participants engaging in public displays of drunkenness, including fights.

The elected officials asked the Liquor Authority to properly enforce laws about serving the visible intoxicated and to work with the NYPD to keep the streets safe.

"Investigators will accompany NYPD officers in coordinated details to help ensure SantaCon 2015 is a safe and orderly event," a Liquor Authority spokesman said.

Although SantaCon organizers weren't reachable for comment, Hoylman said he has been in contact with them and they are working out ways to make the event more transparent.

"This is an organization that brings a lot of people into Manhattan. If can be a little more in control and open about their plans, this could be a better event for everyone," he said.

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