State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

State Patty's Day, in Fifth Year, Sees Strong Reaction

on February 25, 2011 12:50 PM

It started simply enough.

Back in 2007, when the traditional Saint Patrick's Day fell during Penn State spring break, students didn't want to miss the Irish-themed drinking traditions in State College. And so some of them created State Patty's Day, an alternative drinking holiday.

Since then, the annual downtown occasion has ballooned into a bonanza of drinking, along with dramatically increased police and ambulance calls.

As of early Friday afternoon, nearly 30,000 people -- many of them non-Penn Staters -- had indicated on Facebook that they plan to be in State College on Saturday for the fifth annual State Patty's Day.

But responses this year have been preemptive and clearly stated.

As many as eight downtown watering holes will not offer alcohol service Saturday. Some Penn State student leaders have organized an alternative "State Service Day" of community service. Dozens of local residents are engaged in a community-outreach effort.

Schlow Centre Region Library is offering some non-alcohol-related programs of its own. (See low in this report for details.) will cover the weekend as it unfolds. Here's an overview of the coverage we've posted:

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