State College

How did State Patty’s Day 2019 compare to previous years?

State Patty’s Day revelers walk through downtown State College

Penn State students and others participated in State Patty's Day on Feb. 23, 2019. The student-created drinking holiday started in 2007, and Penn State and State College have made efforts to minimize the disturbance to the community.
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Penn State students and others participated in State Patty's Day on Feb. 23, 2019. The student-created drinking holiday started in 2007, and Penn State and State College have made efforts to minimize the disturbance to the community.

Green was the dominant color in downtown State College on Saturday, with lines of revelers outside various establishments throughout the day, but the annual State Patty’s Day celebration was more tame than in past years, police said.

While complete numbers of arrests and citations will be released later this week, State College police Lt. Bradley Smail said that the State College Police Department received about 100 calls from Friday afternoon to Saturday night.

“As far as State Patty’s went yesterday it seemed to be a little bit more mild,” Smail said on Sunday. “Just generally speaking from officers coming in, they’re saying it seemed to be a little less busy than it has been in years past.”

One of the most significant incidents, Smail said, happened at about 4 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of South Atherton Street, where a Penn State student was struck by a vehicle.

Smail said the student was not using a crosswalk and was at fault. The student was transferred to Mount Nittany Medical Center with minor head injuries.

The Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board also worked alongside State College and Penn State police throughout the weekend. From 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday, state police and the PLCB conducted a minor patrol in State College that resulted in 18 citations, according to a release from state police. Fourteen of those citations were for underage possession/consumption of alcohol and four were for public drunkenness. At least two citations were issued on Friday night.

State Patty’s is a student-created drinking holiday that started in 2007, and has typically been held between the weekends of Thon and spring break.

In 2011, more than 330 arrests or citations were issued throughout Friday and Saturday, a record to this day. In the years since the faux holiday’s creation, State College borough and Penn State have teamed up in an effort to suppress the amount of crime and disorderly conduct.

Last year, there were 160 arrests or citations over the weekend, according to police.

On Feb. 18, State College Police Chief John Gardner, Penn State Police Chief Keith Morris, and Penn State Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Danny Shaha sent a letter to State College residents asking for their cooperation during State Patty’s Day weekend. According to a news release, there were various other steps taken to dampen the impact of the weekend, including limiting guests at university residence halls to one per room through the weekend.

State College and Penn State also joined in sending a memo to members of the State College Tavern Owners Association last week, calling on establishment owners to help “impede the negative excesses that State Patty’s Day encourages.”

Saturday saw temperatures below freezing and precipitation for large portions of the day, but Smail said that he would not speculate on why this year was uneventful in comparison to other years.

Penn State students charged with violations during the weekend — on and off campus — will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for appropriate disciplinary action, the university said.

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