I’ve been living in Central Pennsylvania all my life. As I was growing up, State College was a relatively small college community which seemed to grow every year. As Penn State University offered more and more curricula, an increase of students came to Happy Valley.
Penn State has always been a huge football school, and downtown bar activity on football weekends is loud and boisterous. I’ve been living downtown for six years and have come to appreciate the serenity of where I used to live much more.
State Patty’s Day, as it is known, is a “holiday” tradition begun six years ago. As a writer, I love to observe people. I choose that day to walk downtown to various coffee shops, looking at all the young college students as they bar hop. Bar hopping, as I understand it, is when a group of college kids band together wearing their green State Patty’s Day attire and romp around downtown from bar to bar starting at 9 or 10 in the morning.
Personal point number one: Unless I’m mistaken, the only students of legal drinking age would be seniors, age 21. This makes me question why police in this town are even allowing this holiday to happen. It seems rather obvious that underage drinking is occurring.
Personal point number two: The fact that the bars open in the morning gives the students the rare opportunity to get an early start at inebriation. The only thing I like about that is that by 5:00 in the afternoon everyone is so plastered, they are all either at private parties or at home sleeping it off already. Downtown is usually as quiet as a ghost town.
Will State Patty’s Day ever be banned completely? Personally I doubt it. Unfortunately it is good for the economy. I know that sounds silly to say, but bars and pubs are businesses, too.
Last year I heard that students from other schools came to join in on the annual party day. It seems to get bigger and bigger every year. This frightens me. Last time I checked, going to school meant getting an education, not pickling their livers. I can’t quite recall the source, but I heard six months ago that Penn State University is now one of the top three party schools. I want Penn State to be proud of their academics, not their drinking prowess.
Personal point number three: Steps are being taken this year to curb the event and I applaud it. According to the Centre Daily Times article of February 5th, 2012,
which you can read by following the link on the newspaper name (this link no longer works), there were over 200 arrests of various charges on this day last year alone. I would surmise that the number goes up every year, though I cannot be certain. I applaud the Interfraternity Council, or IFC, for trying to deflect themselves away from the negative attention that this so-called holiday brings.
Whether or not State Patty’s Day will truly every die is debatable. The more students who abstain from the activity and voice their objections against it, the better off State College shall be. As for the bars that participate, what did you do before 2007? State College, Pennsylvania, before State Patty’s Day, was a happy thriving community. We would be able to do just fine without it.
For my next blog post, I shall be writing about the new United State Football league. Yes … it is scheduled to make a comeback. Until then, take care and have a good day.