It's that time of year again, folks. The worst day of the year to be an NYC bartender is finally upon us, so trade shifts and shutter your windows, because SantaCon is about to descend on Manhattan. The costumed Christmas lovers will start this year's festivities at 23rd and Broadway, before spreading like a swarm of drunk locusts into the East Village, Gramercy, and Midtown.
But this year, the cos-playing bros—who generally come from everywhere except the island that they wreak havoc on—will have to actually wait until they get into the city before chugging an entire box of Fireball. That's right: the MTA and New Jersey Transit have come together to scrooge over the 9am drinkers. All LIRR and Metro-North trains will be booze-free during SantaCon.
"We’ve learned from experience that the event usually goes well, but some participants can make life tough for our other customers," the MTA's spokesperson Aaron Donovan told Gothamist. "So the ban is a precaution to prevent activity that could disrupt other passengers’ travels."
The MTA released a statement stating that "alcohol will not be permitted on MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA Metro-North Railroad trains and in stations from noon on Saturday, December 10, through noon on Sunday, December 11." But whomever came up with those hours probably should have done a little more homework. You see, on the official SantaCon website, the start time is clearly set at 10am. That means that Santa's will no doubt be boarding their suburban trains at 8 or 9am—a time frame that MTA has not addressed in its ban on alcohol.
Either way, we're guessing that MTA cops are going to have a hard enough time distinguishing water from vodka in Poland Springs bottles. Stay safe out there, Santas, and for everyone else, we hear Queens will be nice this weekend.