NEW YORK – New York's costumed pub crawl known as SantaCon is under way after a prominent civil rights lawyer gave attendees lesson in the First Amendment.
Lawyer Norman Siegel said Saturday the government cannot ban SantaCon. But he said the government can reasonably regulate the event.
SantaCon organizers retained Siegel last week as part of an effort to tame the excesses of the daylong party. Attendees started spreading out among midtown bars shortly after he spoke.
New Yorkers have complained in past years about drunken Santas vomiting in the streets. But organizers say last year's SantaCon raised $60,000 for charity, mostly through partnerships with participating bars.
This year's festivities fall on the same day as a planned protest over killings by police.
SantaCon organizers have expressed respect for the demonstration.