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St. Patty’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day. It’s almost like Christmas morning to a college student, but the sugar plums dancing in their heads have been replaced by green beer and visions of their buddies dancing on a table instead; but according to the Mayor, hopefully this year might be a bit different.

According to Mayor John Quinn, the city is not trying to stop University students from partying, he just wants the partying to start a little later than the usual 6 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day.

“What we are trying to do is to put some common sense into the holiday,” Quinn said. “We’re not trying to stop anybody from the ability to celebrate, we just want it to start a little later in the day, we don’t see any sense in binge drinking that starts at 6 in the morning.”

Over two weeks ago the mayor sent a letter to local bars urging them to not open early for St. Patrick’s Day and keep their normal business hours. This letter was a response to what the Mayor thought was a problem last year.

“We were a little concerned that there was binge drinking last year and we thought if we could do something to take away some of the hype of that early morning part of day that it would be a good thing,” Quinn said.

Some students don’t quite agree with the decision for the Mayor to send out the letters. According to Garrett Truman, senior at the University, St. Patrick’s day is a holiday and shouldn’t be treated as just any other day.

“I think it is all right for bars to be open early because some people want to get a head start on celebrating the special occasion by drinking early in the morning,” Truman said. “I don’t feel the mayor is right in sending the letters. It should be up to the individual owner of the bar on what he or she wants to do, not the mayor.”

The letters sent out to local bars were not necessarily to ban them from opening their doors early, but essentially to ask that they consider to do so and recognize that there may have been a problem with this holiday in the past.

Of the many bars in the downtown area the Mayor received a few letters back, but of those bars receiving the letter only a handful wrote back saying they would not open early. Those bars were Uptown-Downtown, Sky Bar and Jed’s Barbecue.

Of the bars that are staying open, some were instructed not to talk about why they decided to open up early in the morning on St. Patrick’s Day.

Besides the early hours, the Mayor thought the letters should be sent out to increase the awareness of bar owners and allow them to realize that some of these students would still go to work and class.

“Our whole push all along was just to be sensible,” Quinn said. “A number of people were disturbed that some folks came to class a little drunk, and of course we always have a safety problem when we have intoxicated people on the street at anytime.”

Truman agrees that students shouldn’t go to class drunk, but the bars should not be to blame.

“It’s not fair to professors if their students show up drunk, but that isn’t the bars’ fault,” Truman said. “If you are going to decide to drink that early in the morning hopefully that student would have enough sense not to show up to class drunk.”

Increased law enforcement will be in the downtown area during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities throughout the whole day.

“People get up early in the morning on St. Patrick’s Day and get excited,” Truman said. “It’s more fun than going to class on a holiday and it’s a tradition that is done every year. Plus, it’s fun.”

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