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Santa Pub Crawlers Must Remove Beards to Be Served: NYPD

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on December 13, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

With an epic SantaCon pub crawl right around the corner, the NYPD is urging bar and club owners to keep Kris Kringles from entering their chimneys establishments unless they remove their fake beards.

Only in New York must Santa be clean shaven.

Refusing Service to White Beards

SantaCon is an annual event held in cities across the nation in which thousands of merrymakers dress like Santa and other holiday characters (including dreidels!) to spread yuletide cheer.

Oh, and it usually involves a ton of alcohol. How else would they achieve Santa's ruddy color?

This year, SantaCon revelers in New York who want to swap their milk and cookies for White Russians and peanuts will have to check their white beards at the bar's door.

The NYPD says it's for surveillance camera purposes. Police have a very difficult time identifying "Bad Santas" -- those who pick fights, urinate in public, and vomit on property -- when they're disguised in white beards, reports New York Daily News.

Santa on the Naughty List?

Before you and your little helpers take to the streets this holiday season, keep these tips in mind on how to avoid landing on law enforcement's naughty list:

  • Be jolly, not rowdy. In New York, a special police detail will be watching for trouble if the merrymaking turns into a nuisance this year, reports the Daily News. Oh, and don't grope an elf. Sheesh.
  • Stay hydrated and pace yourself. Pub crawls are tricky, but you and your little helpers can successfully avoid the holiday "spirit" of public intoxication by drinking water and drinking slowly. Half pints!
  • Don't drink and drive. If you, Rudolph, and Mrs. Claus are too "jolly" to drive -- and your designated dreidel driver is buzzed -- play it safe by ditching the sleigh and calling a cab.
  • Be aware of your state's open container laws. Drunken revelers imbibing booze on the street -- particularly in residential areas -- routinely draw bah-humbugs (and calls to the police) from neighbors.
  • Don't steal other Santas' swag. Don't pick up what someone drops on the floor. Snagging a fellow sloshed Santa's cell phone may yield a stocking full of coal and potential theft charges.

Santa spreads joy. Not terror. Not vomit. Officers, like Santa, often know when you've been naughty or nice. Stick with nice.

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