Santa Claus Is Coming to Town and He's Being Warned to Be Nice

PHOTO: People dressed as Santa Claus celebrate during the annual Santacon event in New York, in this Dec. 12, 2009 photo.Mario Tama/Getty Images
People dressed as Santa Claus celebrate during the annual SantaCon event in New York, in this Dec. 12, 2009, photo.

The droves of Santas who are expected to descend on New York City this weekend for the annual drunken pub crawl known as SantaCon have been warned by police and lawmakers to leave the bawdy behavior at home.

The New York Police Department's Midtown precinct has asked bar owners in its neighborhood not to serve anyone dressed as Jolly Ol' Saint Nick during the bar crawl, which is scheduled for Saturday.

"Having thousands of intoxicated partygoers roam the streets urinating, littering, vomiting and vandalizing will not be tolerated in our neighborhood," police Lt. John Cocchi wrote to a group of bar owners, according to a letter obtained by WABC-TV.

SantaCon events, which are on a smaller scale, will also take place this weekend in cities around the world, including Albuquerque, N.M., and Zurich.

More than 30,000 St. Nicks participated in the New York City event last year, state Sen. Brad Hoylman said, adding that a few bad Santas have turned the event into a holiday hell.

"I think New Yorkers generally are extremely tolerant of visitors but when they come in such droves and then combine that with public intoxication, it has a negative impact in our neighborhoods," the Manhattan Democrat said.

A group of lawmakers, including Hoylman, arranged a call earlier this month with SantaCon's organizers to discuss a plan to keep this year's merry mob from creating Santarchy in New York City.

Hoylman said organizers have agreed to share their route, which has not yet been announced, with the NYPD. They've also offered up a volunteer army of elves to serve as crowd control and report any unruly behavior, he said.

"The volunteer organizers agree that some of the participants have gotten out of hand, but it remains to be seen whether they can do anything about it," Hoylman said.

SantaCon's organizers, a loosely affiliated group, did not respond to ABC News' request for comment. But SantaCon's official Twitter account has warned Santas to be on their best behavior.

"Dirty ol' Santa or Ho Ho Ho, just remember No Means No. #TheSantaCode #NYCSantacon," one tweet sent earlier this week read.

"Visiting NYC for #NYCSantacon?" another read. "Just remember, NYC doesn't show up at your home and piss all over YOU. #TheSantaCode."

While it was unclear whether the NYPD kept tally of how many SantaCon-related arrests were made in previous years, Hoylman said he hopes this year can be used as a benchmark.

"I'm reserving judgment to see until the event unfolds," he said. "We're hopeful this is a first step and [organizers] have agreed to sit down with us after the event to discuss how we can prepare for next year."