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Thousands of revellers descend on NYC for annual Santa-themed bar crawl SantaCon

A man dressed as Santa Claus holds a beer as he and others participate in SantaCon (John Minchillo/AP)
A man dressed as Santa Claus holds a beer as he and others participate in SantaCon (John Minchillo/AP) A man dressed as Santa Claus holds a beer as he and others participate in SantaCon (John Minchillo/AP)

Here come Santa Clauses. Again.

Throngs of people dressed as jolly Old St Nick descended on New York City for the annual SantaCon charity pub crawl on Saturday.

The booze-fuelled stroll – which included no shortage of Grinches, elves and other Christmas-themed costumes – kicked off at 10am in bars and clubs in midtown Manhattan.

Revellers were expected to make their way downtown where the festivities end at 8pm in local watering holes in the East Village.

The organisers encouraged participants to donate 15 dollars to enter participating venues, which they have said will go to charitable causes.

Similar Christmas-themed bacchanals were slated in cities across the US and Europe, from San Francisco and Cincinnati to London and Berlin.

As in years past, transit agencies hoped to keep the revelry from causing too much chaos in the nation’s busiest train system.

Commuter rail lines from New Jersey and the New York suburbs banned passengers from drinking on trains headed into Manhattan starting from 4am Saturday through noon Sunday.

NYPD also reminded revellers that the city’s open container laws that prohibits consuming alcohol in the street still applies.

“Ensuring everyone has access to safe and orderly travel is a top priority,” MTA Police Chief John Mueller said in a statement earlier this week announcing the restrictions.

“The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, and we want everyone to get to their destination smoothly and on time while enjoying the festivities.”