By Chris Gill
February 21, 2013
My fellow college students, I don’t know how many of you have ever celebrated State Patty’s Day with the Penn Staters, but this may finally be the year the borough and township conquer the student-crafted holiday.
For those who do not know, the holiday began back in 2007 when St. Patrick’s day was going to fall during a break. The students created their own celebration, which later spawned what could be claimed to be the wildest weekend each year in State College.
At first the bars, IFC( Interfraternal Council), and the borough didn’t seem to have a problem with the pseudo-holiday. There were sanctioned day-long celebrations for Fraternities, and many of the bars changed their hours of operation to accommodate, opening early on State Patty’s day than on regular weekends.
Now, while I do not condone getting drunk and being an idiot, let’s face it–this is college, and it’s going to happen. There are going to be people that lose control, and this Holiday was just an easy excuse to let our inhibitions drop and do something dumb. I can recall drinking with my brothers and having a blast. We partied all day and there were never any problems. This, of course, could not be said for everyone.
The majority of the people causing trouble were the out-of-town students who had heard of the holiday and thought it was cool to come into town and do whatever they pleased, because at the end of the weekend they could return home, taking with them only mild embarrassment.
Over the years, I’ve seen the borough and townships of State College become increasingly overreactive to this holiday. They claim that there are more arrests on this day than any other, even counting football weekends. To be fair, this is the only day you can get a citation for jaywalking in State College (yes, I did see this happen). So while the arrests and citations are up, the police are actively seeking for a reason to fine people.
There is nothing wrong with having a few beers and walking home, assuming your home is close by, but on this holiday the cops go insane and, no matter how much you’ve had, are likely to stop you.
Now, this year, we see that the bars in downtown State College have actually taken a payoff of $5000 to not open or serve alcohol on this day. Frankly, I think they are cowards and fools because there is no way that $5000 will cover the cost of what they make on that day.
In any case, it doesn’t look like the biggest day of debauchery in State College is going to happen this year. Of course, they could just change the date repeatedly and see if the borough can keep up. In any case, if you plan on having your own celebration this weekend, my advice is to enjoy in moderation.