TARRYTOWN, N.Y. The Set Back Inn in Tarrytown was packed with Santas around 8 p.m. Friday, and more were expected as the night wore on.
We'll definitely pick up more Santas along the way, Tarrytown resident Jeannette Ho said.
Ho and a group of her friends helped organize the first annual Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow SantaCon, starting, they hope, a yearly local tradition. Local residents dressed up like Santa and traveled to local bars, spreading holiday cheer.
SantaCon in the Tarrytowns also benefitted the Blythedale Children's Hospital . Ho said she felt the traditional SantaCon needed something more, so she asked everyone to donate $10 or a toy.
It just seemed right, she said.
SantaCon began in San Francisco in 1994 and quickly spread to other major cities. Going to the New York City SantaCon was always on Ho's bucket list.
When I realized I couldn't make the one in New York City, we just said 'Let's bring it to Tarrytown,' Ho said, adding that organizers thought it would only be six or eight people.
The group began a Facebook page for the event, and word of mouth quickly spread. About 60 people confirmed their attendance before the SantaCon began.
Maria Bernal opted to dress up as a reindeer instead of a Santa. Bernal said the event reminded her of high school, where they used to raise money for Blythedale all the time.
I think this is a wonderful cause, she said.
Ho said the organizers would have been happy with 10 people showing up since they thought of putting this together literally two weeks ago. She described Friday's turnout as a success.
We hope it will continue to be a tradition throughout Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, she said.
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