Thousands of revelers flock to NYC for the annual Santa Claus pub crawl SantaCon

NEW YORK (AP) — Here come Santa Claus. Again.

crowds Dressed as jolly Old St. Nick, he arrived in New York City on Saturday for the annual SantaCon charity bar crawl.

The alcohol-soaked stroll, which featured no shortage of Grinches, elves and other holiday costumes, began at 10 a.m. at bars and clubs in midtown Manhattan. Revelers were expected to make their way downtown, where festivities would end at 8 p.m. at local watering holes in the East Village.

Organizers encouraged participants to donate $15 for entry to participating venues, which they said would benefit charitable causes.

Similar Christmas bacchanals were planned Saturday in cities across the U.S. and Europe, from San Francisco and Cincinnati to London and Berlin.

As in previous years, transit officials hoped the celebrations wouldn’t cause too much chaos on the country’s busiest train system.

Commuter trains from New Jersey and the New York suburbs banned passengers from drinking on Manhattan-bound trains from 4 a.m. Saturday until noon Sunday.

The NYPD also reminded revelers that the city’s open container laws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol on the street, still apply.

“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.”