One to remember: Fake Patty’s participants reflect on the holiday

Citizens from Manhattan and surrounding areas come to Aggieville to celebrate Fake Patty's Day with their family and friends. With games, food, and music, there are plenty of things to keep people coming. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

For the 11th year in a row, hordes of students, out-of-towners and Manhattan locals clogged the streets surrounding Aggieville to take part in Fake Patty’s Day festivities Saturday.

Because Saint Patrick’s Day usually occurs over Kansas State’s spring break, the Saturday of the week before is traditionally designated as an evening dedicated to bar-hopping, house parties and fraternity bashes. Those who wish to escape the alcohol-saturated holiday may choose to curl up at home and lock their doors for good measure.

John Blackwell, manager at Kite’s Bar and Grill, worked from 7 a.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday. Kite’s charged $10 for wristbands providing all-day access, while competing bars like Johnny Kaw’s charged $20. Blackwell said wristband prices have driven consumers away from Aggieville.

“Since the beginning of the wrist bands, it’s been hard for others to enjoy the ‘Ville, driving them to local house parties,” Blackwell said.

Non-locals also visited to celebrate the fake holiday. Ellis Newkirk, political science major and defensive tackle at Hardin-Simmons University, flew up to Kansas from Abilene, Texas. Newkirk said he had never heard of Fake Patty’s Day until a friend who attends K-State invited him to visit for the occasion.

Newkirk said the town-wide celebration of Fake Patty’s Day was a new experience compared to life at Hardin-Simmons, a private Baptist college.

“Fake Patty’s Day was a great experience,” Newkirk said. “HSU doesn’t have such a large Greek life as Kansas State. I couldn’t believe how big of a deal it was, from the shirts to the number of people.”

While some spent the day mingling in yards or in the streets, Kyria Boman, sophomore in advertising, said she spent her day catching up with and helping her friends.

“This year, I didn’t have the desire to go out,” Boman said. “I told friends that I would be there if they needed a designated driver. I spent a lot of my day making sure they were safe and having fun.”

On the Sunday following Fake Patty’s Day, the HandsOn volunteer group coordinated a clean-up effort to clear the neighborhoods surrounding Aggieville. Anahi Arce-Gross, HandsOn student program coordinator and senior in supply chain logistics, directed the clean-up effort. Arce-Gross said volunteers came from universities in states as far away as North Dakota and Michigan.

“This was my second year helping, but I found it amazing that other college students were willing to spend their spring break going around and helping others,” Acre-Gross said.