Fake Patty’s Day traditions continue with added security

Fake Patty's Day participants do the YMCA in Kite's Bar and Grill on March 9, 2013. (File Photo by Hannah Hunsinger | The Collegian)

Matt Bargabus, bartender at Auntie Mae’s Parlor, said Fake Patty’s Day just “kind of happened.”

Bargabus has worked at Auntie Mae’s Parlor since before the first Fake Patty’s Day in 2007. He said over the years, the city of Manhattan has increased security around Aggieville during this holiday, which has lead to some changes.

“My expectation is (Fake Patty’s Day) will bend (in a positive direction) a little more this year,” Rodney Harms, former executive director of the Aggieville Business Association, said. “Over time, it could be a very positive event in Manhattan and Aggieville.”

Harms said while he was executive director last year, more Aggieville businesses and other organizations were able to participate in other activities that did not involve heavy drinking.

Karen McCulloh, Manhattan mayor, said she would like to see more activities because she said the heavy drinking leads to many problems, such as underage drinking and injury.

“Last year, we gave a pretty strong effort and got different things going on,” Harms said.

McCulloh said there were bands and people giving out water during Fake Patty’s Day last year, but there is still more that could be done. She said Fake Patty’s Day does not bring in enough revenue to accommodate the destruction of property and accidents that happen during the event.

Last year, the city spent $87,000 on setting up security for the event, which brought in law enforcement from other cities and counties to help manage the event, and this amount goes up every year, McCulloh said.

“We pray we get through it without anyone dying,” McCulloh said.

Two people were admitted to the intensive care unit last year due to excessive drinking on Fake Patty’s Day, McCulloh said.

“Both groups (the city and the students) are more aware of (Fake Patty’s Day) in advance and have thought about it ahead of time,” William Dubois, senior in architecture, said.

Everyone is starting to look forward to Fake Patty’s Day a little further ahead each year, which has allowed the city to make preparations for security and gives students and locals time to get ready for the all-day event, Dubois said.

The increased police presence in Aggieville has influenced many people to go to house parties instead of the bars, but Fake Patty’s Day still remains one of the busiest days of the year, Bargabus said.

Dubois said that some of the Manhattan locals might not care for the event, but he thinks it is a good time for everyone to get together. He said that although the event can get a little out of hand, it has been relatively tame.

“It’s a good embodiment of K-State where people from outside of K-State are welcomed by the K-State family,” Dubois said. “It’s all about having a good time.”

Fake Patty’s Day has remained a good holiday for everyone to hang out to enjoy one of the first days of spring with friends who might not even go to school at K-State but still come to Manhattan to enjoy the event, Dubois said.

“K-State has grown in the minds of other college students,” Dubois said.

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