A sea of Santas gathers to take part in the annual Santa Claus Pub Crawl in Grafton.
A sea of Santas gathers to take part in the annual Santa Claus Pub Crawl in Grafton. Lynne Mowbray

Thugs tarnish Santa legend

A FEW bad Santas among the hundreds taking part in Saturday’s Santa Pub Crawl in Grafton have ensured the end of the popular event.

One of the event’s organisers, Adam Crawley, said a fight at one of the Grafton hotels between two people attending the pub crawl, had resulted in an assault charge being laid.

“We’re calling it quits after this year,” Mr Crawley said.

“When blokes start wanting to fight during something like this, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.”

Mr Crawley said he and fellow organiser Angus McKimm were disappointed it had to end this way after five years.

“A couple of idiots have tainted the day for the hundreds of others,” Mr Crawley said.

Grafton Police backed up Mr Crawley’s assessment of the event.

Sergeant Chris Tuite said the event with between 300 to 500 people taking part had run smoothly except for the fight.

“Perhaps a dozen people at the most have ruined it for everyone else,” he said.

The event raised more than $4000 for the St Vincent de Paul Society, which will receive the money this morning.

“Last year we raised $1500 and aimed for $3000 this year,” he said.

Mr Crawley paid tribute to the city’s publicans for their role in making the event such a success.

“We’ve worked closely with them over the years and they’re the reason it has become such a successful event,” he said.

A 19-year-old Grafton man taking part in the Santa Pub Crawl hasbeen charged with assault after he struck a 22-year-old man in the beergarden of a local hotel on Saturday night.

Grafton Police were called to the hotel at 8.30pm after two patrons became involved in an altercation.

As a result the 22-year-old was taken to Grafton Base Hospital, where he was treated for lacerations to the head.

The 19-year-old was charged with assault and has been bailed to appear in Grafton Local Court on January 25.

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