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State Patty's -- a missed opportunity

It is truly ashame that downtown State College workers will lose out on a day of pay and businesses will lose out of a strong Saturday when they close for State Patty's Day.

This student drink fest holiday is a mess but it's not because of bars and local workers. They are doing their jobs.

Again, the community and Penn State has dropped the ball and has not expanding their horizons when planning for State Patty's.

Again, they are content with asking businesses to close, jacking up parking rates, bringing every officer from here to Pittsburgh here and hoping for the best.

The community will be held hostage -- again. State Patty's is here.

I've written several times that State College and Penn State should build on State Patty's and create a winter festival with activities for green-clad students and community members. Add music, sports and other activities to the mix, encourage businesses to open and sell great food, and enjoy it together.

Every time I've written this I've gotten calls and emails from readers thanking me, agreeing. Every time. Yet I don't remember one of these readers writing a letter or coming forward publicly to talk about this.

What do we have this weekend? A 9 p.m. start for Penn State's game with Northwestern. Anything else? Any activities in State College that could be put together for a winter festival?

Not this year. I hope State Patty's goes as well as it can and nobody gets hurt.

I suggest for next year Penn State and State College officials and Penn State student leaders and organizations get together and plan something big. The community and the students would deserve it.

-- Bob Heisse