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Local Bar Owners Meet with University, Borough Officials, Stay Mum on State Patty's Day Status

by on February 15, 2013 10:43 PM

Penn State and State College Borough officials are joining forces with local bar owners to combat the student-created drinking holiday known as State Patty's Day, which is closing in on its seventh year. 

Penn State Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims and Borough Manager Tom Fountaine met with members of the Tavern Association at a closed meeting on Friday and discussed "creating an alcohol-free zone in downtown State College on State Patty's Day," Sims said.

No decision was made on Friday, but Sims said he expects there to be one "very shortly." 

"I think it's fair to say that everyone involved in the discussion shared concern about the risks brought to our community by this event. The conversation was permeated by a sincere collective interest in doing what is best for the citizens of our community," Sims said. 

Sims and Fountaine are co-chairs of the Campus Community Partnership on Dangerous Drinking, which works with downtown leaders, students and other members of the community to find alternatives to the daylong binge drinking brought on by State Patty's Day. Sims said last year, the tavern owners' cooperation was 'particularly significant.'

Downtown bars closed on State Patty's Day in 2012 and in years past. 

State Patty's Day was created in 2007 by Joe Veltre, a Penn State student who wanted to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in State College, though that year, it fell during Penn State's Spring Break. In following years, students clad in green shirts and hats and guzzling green beer caused so much damage to the downtown that community leaders and businesses owners reacted and decided the best option was to not operate during State Patty's Day at all. 

Members of the Tavern Association did not return calls for comment. 

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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