State College Neighborhood Associations Urge Bars to Stop Alcohol Sales for State Patty's Day Weekend
Just hours before the State College Tavern Association was slated to discuss how its members will handle State Patty's Day, a group of neighborhood associations urged businesses not to serve alcohol during this year's event.
The Coalition of Neighborhood Associations issued a letter Thursday asking the Tavern Association to do as last year and not serve alcohol downtown during State Patty's Day weekend, a two-day drinking fest started by Penn State students in 2007.
The university paid downtown businesses $5,000 each in exchange for not serving alcohol during the student-organized event that promotes binge drinking.
Over the years, the event has been blamed for public drunkenness, vandalism, sexual assaults, and burdening the local emergency room with alcohol poisoning patients. Law enforcement officials say last year's alcohol-free zone downtown caused related crime to drop by nearly 40 percent.
The Coalition of Neighborhood Associations says residents want to see that trend continue in 2014 by bars committing once again to not serve alcohol during the March 1 event.
"As residents who frequent your establishments we understand the sacrifice and inconvenience of not serving alcohol on State Patty's Day. However, we urge you refrain from serving alcohol that day, to continue the trend begun with last year's improvements," the group said in the letter.
The Tavern Association is meeting Thursday to discuss how local bars and restaurants will address the event. However, members are expected to decide individually how they will proceed and some owners have already said they likely will serve alcohol this year.