Fake Patty’s Day: Chaos or the college experience?

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K-State students celebrating Fake Patty's Day on Ratone Street. (Benjamin Voller | Collegian Media Group)

Alarms blare in sync at 7 a.m. on March 5, 2022. Instead of hitting the snooze button, Marissa Plath, junior in construction science and management, and her roommates throw on their green “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts and take their first shots of Deep Eddy’s lemonade.

“Waking up super early and hearing all of my roommates come out of their rooms to get the day started was so much fun,” Plath said. “It’s like waking up for Christmas morning, but the college version.”

Following the early morning shots, the girls ran to their backyard, where drinking games began at 8 a.m. With vodka for breakfast and green beads around their necks, the girls felt unstoppable. Plath said they had a long day of drinking and fun ahead — she thought nothing could go wrong.

“Since we missed out on Fake Patty’s our freshman year, we were super excited to spend the day party-hopping with all our friends,” Plath said.

Aaron Wintermote, Riley Country Police Department public information officer, shared exactly what can go wrong on a fifteen-hour drinking binge. The department issued 15 driving under the influence charges and 13 minor in possession citations.

“We had extra highway patrol officers out looking for signs of impaired driving to crack down on drunk drivers,” Wintermote said.

Wintermote said police officers helped multiple unconscious individuals receive assistance throughout the day.

“We responded to a report of underage drinking at a party on Bertrand around 11 p.m. where we found a man unconscious and suffering from head trauma,” Wintermote said. “He was transported to Via Christi in critical condition and later to a Wichita hospital for further treatment.”

Wintermote said Aggieville was busy, but nothing more extreme than a regular game day. Officers’ real focus was on the large, condensed parties on Ratone Street.

“There was a large presence on Ratone Street,” Wintermote said. “We were called down there multiple times, mostly for disorderly conduct. We had one call where a man had jumped on a car and punched the driver.”

While police saw Ratone Street as commotion, students saw an opportunity for a fun-filled day. Kacy Lewallen, junior in strategic sales, lives on Ratone Street and absolutely loved the excitement these daytime parties brought.

“I was loving the parties on Ratone: I kept telling myself it was the best day ever,” Lewallen said. “Overall, the daytime was so much fun seeing everyone out and running into old friends. I was also so surprised by the crowds on Ratone.”

Lewallen’s day took a sharp turn around 12:30 a.m. when she ended up with a black eye after being caught in a large crowd at Johnny Kaw’s Yard bar.

“We were dancing on the Yard Bar dance floor, and then everyone started pushing and trying to jump away. I did not realize what was going on, so I took a blow straight to the eye,” Lewallen said. “I instantly started crying and ended up leaving because it was a vibe killer for the night. I went to urgent care the day after and found out I have a mild concussion.”

Dennis Cook, executive director of the Aggieville Business Association, said Fake Patty’s is exactly where it should be when it comes to Aggieville, even with bar fights and law violations.

“At this point, Aggieville is probably right where we should be for the day,” Cook said. “I do feel bad about some of the neighborhoods being overcrowded, but that is not us, it is students wanting to do something.”

Cook stands by his belief that Fake Patty’s is not a ruckus — it is the college experience.

“We don’t look at this as chaos: we look at this as K-State students wanting to have the college experience,” Cook said. “There will be a percentage of people who drink too much or drink for too long, and no one is advocating for that, but that is everyone’s own personal control.”

Cook said Kansas State students love Fake Patty’s Day and always will.

“It would have been nicer if we had gone through the weekend without any arrests or DUIs,” said Cook. “But what we do not want to do is ruin the college-age experience, and I am just a fan of the experience.”

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