One of the largest college parties of the year has already begun this morning. It’s called “Unofficial” and at this very moment, students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are already four or five green beers deep. They’re not the #1 party school in the nation for nuthin.
The debauchery is such a big deal to the school that there’s an actual history of the day hosted on the archives of the University of Illinois. Here’s the long and short of it:
In the spring of 1995, local bar owners were presented with a problem by the University’s academic calendar. Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) is celebrated by sociable young adult Americans with a visit to a local pub or tavern. However, in March 1995, the 17th fell during the University of Illinois Spring Break. University students and staff, the primary clientele of campustown bars, would not be anywhere near campus on what is presumably a very profitable day for bar owners. Not content to let the popular celebration slip away from them, local businesses organized an alternative event: the “Shamrock Stagger,” scheduled for Wednesday, March 8th, 1995, two days before U of I’s Spring Break [source].
Obviously things have changed a bit here and there, but the one thing that’s remained constant is the student’s participation in the festivities.
Sadly that also means that there are also more police who are working. One friendly whistleblower on Reddit announced that as many as 250 extra policemen will be working. According to that same redditor, 75%-80% of people who are issued citations are visiting from schools, so just be careful.
We’ll update this post with great photos and videos as they start to emerge. And remember to tag us in pictures or videos with @COED.