More than 200 red-suited revelers packed the streets Saturday for this year’s SantaCon parade and pub crawl, which kicked off at 10 a.m. a block from Macy’s amid a North Pole-like blast of cold.
Christmas-costume crowds shrugged off the arctic chill to celebrate the event’s 20th’s anniversary in New York.
“We haven’t done anything but wake up and drink,” said visiting Philly resident Charlie Rahr, who embraced the tradition of sampling the season’s spirits.
Among the celebrants was a sultry St. Nicky, Cindy Priestei, 38, who stepped out in style in short red skirt, thigh-high white stockings and striped top — while toting a giant candy cane.
Police on twitter urged participants to “stay off the NYPD’s naughty list” — and for the most part, they did.
The East Village was particularly popular. Hundreds wrapped around the block in hope of getting into 13th Step, a bar at 149 Second Ave., determined get in, meet their fellow Kris Kringles — and raise a glass.
The neighborhood took on the look of Santa’s workshop. Bouncers claimed bars were jammed to capacity.
“I would wait another 20 minutes max,” said shivering Audrey Goodrick, 21, in front of Thirsty Scholar Club on E 10th street and Second Avenue. “I’m freezing!”
Not everyone cheered.
Actress Piper Perabo called for the city to shut down the event permanently.
“As a woman who has to walk through #NYC tonight, my past experience with Santa Con is mobs of very drunk people, lots of men, disguised, in the dark,” she tweeted. “It’s terrifying.”
The spectacle, which started in San Francisco in 1994 and came to New York four years later, is an international phenomenon — with more than 60 SantaCons in the U.S. and across the world.
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