PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – St. Patrick’s Day is a day full of green beer, Irish folk singing and everyone pinching you for not wearing green.
It’s a holiday everyone loves to celebrate, Irish or not. Students at Penn State love it so much they have created their own “State Patty’s Day” to make sure they can always celebrate the drinking holiday on the weekend.READ MORE: Kung Fu Kicks Off April 7
Well, this year, Penn State has stepped up their incentives for bars, taverns and restaurants to remain closed on the student-made holiday in an attempt to curb the drinking-related issues that their police force has had to deal with over the years.
Matt Carroll, a reporter for the Centre Daily Times joined Bill Rehkopf on the KDKA Afternoon News to talk give us the 411 on State Patty’s Day.
“State Patty’s Day is the student-created holiday that they celebrate at the beginning of March. St. Patrick’s Day often falls on a break, so this is something that spread on social media and it’s kind of taken on its own life in this area. It has become one of the busiest weekends of the year for police and alcohol related crime,” said Carroll.
Last year was the first year that Penn State and State College officials made efforts to get rid of State Patty’s Day.READ MORE: FAN N'ATION: Returning April 17
They made an offer to tavern owners of a flat rate of $5,000 to close and not serve alcohol, this year they brought a new offer to the table. Their incentive to not open will depend on how much business the taverns stand to lose.
“The Tavern Association gave input into this and you get the feeling that some of the larger tavern owners here stand to maybe lose a bit more money because they do a bit more business, wanted the system tweaked a little bit. There are tiers this year where business can earn from $7,500 to $2,500 for not opening that day,” Carroll said.
Now, since the students created this holiday they can’t be too happy about people trying to take it away from them. A major concern is that if the bars close students will drink at parties and at homes where supervision is rare and over serving is bound to happen. We learned about how some student groups are combating State Patty’s Day.
“I know a lot of student groups on the other hand have actually taken it upon themselves to make community betterment type activities on that weekend. A lot volunteer to hydrate students who may be out drinking and a lot of others do community service type projects on the weekend,” Carroll said.
You can hear the whole interview here: