If you live in New York, prepare to dress lightly on Sunday, January 13. The city celebrates its 17thAnnual No Pants Subway Ride in which local residents ride the city’s underground transportation sans trousers.
The annual event is held in several major cities around the world. In the UK, it is known as the No Trousers On The Tube Ride and it is also scheduled for the same day. Organized by Improv Everywhere, a comedic performance art group from New York City that was formed in 2001 by Charlie Todd and whose slogan is "We Cause Scenes," the event usually takes place in early January.
The first No Pants Subway Ride started with seven pantless riders in 2002 in NYC. By 2006, the event drew 150 people and by 2013, more than sixty cities, including Tokyo and Jerusalem, had jumped on the bandwagon. In Moscow, the first No Pants Subway Ride was held in January 2016. The stunt resulted in participants being investigated by the police for "instigating of mass public disorder," though the accusations went nowhere.
In London, where the event is organized by The Stiff Upper Lip Society, the event will start in front of the National Gallery, where crowds are expected to gather at 2:30 pm, before splitting into groups to hop on the Tube. After crisscrossing the city, the riders will meet at The Chandos pub in Trafalgar Square for an after-party. Though expected to be pantless, participants have been asked to “avoid thongs/budgie-smugglers/anything see-through though, as we aim to amuse, not offend, fellow Underground users.”
In Montreal, the No Pants Subway Ride, will also be held on January 13. Participants will meet at the Sherbrooke Station at 2:30 pm, where they will catch the first metro to Berri-UQAM. The exact route is outlined on the No Pants Subway Ride Montreal 2019 Facebook page.
The lighthearted celebration is not intended to support any causes or charities, it is simply "a celebration of silliness and nothing more," according to its organizers. Also, participants shouldn’t expect to be bothered by security since the event has become a well-known and accepted annual tradition. Subway staff only asks that participants refrain from loud, obnoxious behavior and show respect for their fellow passengers as they would any other day, whether they are wearing pants or not.