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UMass students celebrate St. Patrick’s Day away from campus

(Elizabeth Polvere/Daily Collegian)

While Amherst itself appeared to be a ghost town on Saint Patrick’s Day, with most University of Massachusetts students away on spring break, some UMass students lively celebrated the Americanized Irish holiday elsewhere.

“With the students all gone we don’t really see any uptick in activity,” Scott Livingstone, the Amherst Police Department chief of police, said of the scene on March 17 in Amherst. He noted there were no physical custodies on this date either.

However, for senior communication major Julia Jagannath, things were less quiet, as her festivities for the holiday began at 6 a.m. at Pennsylvania State University.

A Harrisburg, Penn. native, many of Jagannath’s friends attend Penn State. Students at PSU held pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, something students coin “State Patty’s Day.” The event is held on the last weekend in February and draws college students from across the country for a day of drinking and celebrations.

According to Jagannath, her friends celebrated on this date as well as on March 17, the actual date of the holiday. “They continued to do part two at the bars,” she said.

Jagannath and her friends hit their first bar, Pickle’s, at 7 a.m. as St. Patrick’s Day enthusiasts were not only populating the bars, but crowding the streets.

“One of the [Penn State] professors was saying the whole street was crowded,” Jagannath recalled. “And when she was trying to get to work it just parted like the Red Sea of people of green—a red-green sea I guess.”

Keem Minton, a senior biochemistry major, went to a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Worcester and shared a similar experience to Jagannath. The streets and the bars were packed “shoulder-shoulder,” he said.

Despite how crowded the area was, Minton said he had a good time. “It was a casual day. There were no bottles flying everywhere,” he said.

Dylan Mancino, a junior music and business BDIC major from Long Island, New York, spent his Saint Patrick’s Day much farther from home.

To celebrate his 21st birthday, Mancino and his friends drove 14 hours to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where they stayed in a “gross but cheap motel.”

The long drive was “very worth it,” he said. “The hospitality there, the people are so much nicer down in the south.”

On St. Patrick’s Day, the group of friends celebrated with a bottle of champagne and went to an electronic dance music (EDM) club at Myrtle Beach that was “packed,” according to Mancino.

However, not all UMass students had an exciting, party-filled St. Patrick’s Day. Hunter Scanlon, a senior architecture major, did not encounter any drunk persons on the holiday, instead, he was met with “toddlers wanting pancakes,” he said.

Scanlon works at “Mad Martha’s Island Café” in Plumb Island. His day consisted of serving breakfast and waiting tables.

Alexandra Vitous, a senior accounting major, had an uneventful day as well.

“We came back from Punta Cana,” Vitous said, as she discussed her vacation to the popular resort town in the Dominican Republic. “I just laid in my bed for an entire day recovering.”

Jackson Cote can be reached at and followed on Twitter @jackson_k_cote.

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