New York

NYC's SantaCon aims to end naughty-or-nice debate, with new efforts to revel responsibly

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2010, file photo, John Paul, center, dressed as an Elf and Michael Smallwood, in a Santa Claus outfit, ride the E train in New York. Paul and Smallwood were participants in SantaCon, an annual holiday pub crawl during which participants dress up as Santa Claus or wear Christmas-themed clothing. As thousands of Santa-suited merrymakers prepare to hit the city's streets and bars Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, organizers say they're taking steps to deter naughty behavior. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2010, file photo, John Paul, center, dressed as an Elf and Michael Smallwood, in a Santa Claus outfit, ride the E train in New York. Paul and Smallwood were participants in SantaCon, an annual holiday pub crawl during which participants dress up as Santa Claus or wear Christmas-themed clothing. As thousands of Santa-suited merrymakers prepare to hit the city's streets and bars Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, organizers say they're taking steps to deter naughty behavior. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)  (The Associated Press)

Could this be the year of SantaCon without SantaControversy?

After several years of defending the costumed bar hop against a bad-Santa rap, organizers are making new efforts to convey that the SantaCon coming to town in New York on Saturday is reveling more responsibly.

For the first time, they publicly released the planned route days before their romp through Brooklyn and Manhattan bars.

Organizers got a permit to assemble in a park and agreed to tweet police messages about pedestrian safety.

The group's lawyer, Norman Siegel, says "there's a transition to a more positive SantaCon."

Still, some officials are seeing red.

A dozen state and city politicians this week asked the State Liquor Authority to station investigators along the route. The agency says it was already planning to do so.