After a quick two weeks of planning, it was a night of free-wheeling good cheer when a paid off.
Donations for the Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla added up to $903 and 25 unwrapped toys. The crowd at its height numbered about 60, nearly all in Santa suits. Impromptu carolling occurred down Beekman, when the group started ringing doorbells in their journey between bars, serenading anyone brave enough to open the door (or at least look out the window).
“I don’t know if it was scary or cheery,” one organizer Jeanette Ho said of the spontaneous singing.
Ho was grateful to the merchants who gave out food to hungry Santas along the way and the bar owners who entertained such an odd and jolly bunch. The circuit of the villages began at the at 7:30 p.m. with messages updating Facebook with the group's moves. From there they went to , through Patriot’s Park to at the end of Beekman. Then they worked there way back up (caroling en route) to and, finally, .
No one made it to the 4 a.m. official close (when bars shutter by law). Most Santas wandered off around 1:30 a.m., with the last one standing around 3 a.m.
There were two men affectionately referred to as “The Husbands,” said Ho, who were out on something of a “man date” without their wives. One wife though was kind enough to pick them up at their designated curfew in a minivan, much to the awwws of the crowd.
“It was superb. It turned out to be a really festive night,” Ho said. “The majority of the Santas we had never met. We made a lot of new friends. Everyone is already excited for next year's event.”