Hoboken cancels annual 'Santacon' event over COVID-19 concerns

People dressed as Santa Claus participate in the annual bar crawl SantaCon on December 9, 2017. Photo credit Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

HOBOKEN, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Hoboken’s annual “Santacon” event was officially canceled Tuesday over COVID-19 concerns.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Police Chief Ken Ferrante made the official announcement Tuesday morning, saying the event was too much of a risk to spread coronavirus.

“Our sole goal as Mayor and Police Chief is to keep Hoboken residents safe, and an unsanctioned, crowded bar crawl would have presented substantial challenges related to the pandemic," the two said in a statement. “We are glad to share that Santacon has officially been canceled by the event organizers, which will help protect Hoboken residents from a potential super-spreader type event. Thank you to the many bars and restaurants who from the very beginning, refused to participate in Santacon, as these events continue to lose steam.”

According to the mayor’s office, “Santacon,” along with other similar type events, has never been approved or sanctioned by the city.

The news came one day after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that outdoor gatherings would be limited to just 25 people.

As the annual “Santacon” event draws in hundreds of rowdy visitors to the city, the new restrictions effectively shut the event down.

Organizers announced last week that New York City’s 2020 “Santacon” would also be canceled.

“All of the reindeer got the ‘rona so, the elves have advised Santa to hold off on the in-person merriment. There is no Santacon NYC this year,” organizers said in a statement.

The official bar crawl website still has links for people to donate to help feed hospital frontline workers as they deal with a second wave of coronavirus cases in New York City.

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