St. Patrick’s Day comes early in Kent

College students cheer on their friend Jake Mathie from Ohio University as he shotguns a beer on University Drive Saturday, March 11, 2017. The Kent State tradition “Fake Patty’s Day” takes place the week before St. Patrick’s Day to allow an entire Saturday to party.

Danielle Johnson

On Saturday, students dressed head to toe in green while bars were decorated in shamrocks and leprechauns to celebrate Kent’s annual Fake Patty’s Day.

Many students were celebrating this holiday for the first time this year, including Carmella Slaughter, a junior psychology major.

“This is my first year celebrating Fake Patty’s Day, and it is so much fun,” Slaughter said. “We are starting at house parties, then making our way to the bars later.”

Not only Kent State students were celebrating this holiday, Jessica Boehringer, a junior nursing major at Marquette University traveled from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to take part in the for the first time.

“Luckily for me this holiday fell on my Spring break,” Boehringer said. “So I got to come celebrate with my best friend who goes to Kent State.”

Fake Patty’s Day is not like any other Saturday night at the bars, as students continue to celebrate from early in the morning until late at night.

“My friends and I started celebrating early this morning and we plan on continuing the celebration all day long,” Slaughter said.

For people who have not witnessed a Kent Fake Patty’s Day, it can be surprising how early the festivities start.

“It starts really early, so I’m a little tired.” Boehringer said, “But once you start celebrating it is a lot of fun.”

Students take this Patty’s Day just as seriously as the real St. Patrick’s Day, hunting for green outfits to wear to avoid getting pinched.

“I have been to so many stores trying to find a cute green shirt,” Slaughter said. “It is a lot more difficult than you would think.”

Students are not the only ones having to prepare for Fake Patty’s Day. Bars also must make sure they are ready for the crowds of people wanting to celebrate with a tall Guinness.

“We put an extra server on every shift to prepare for the massive amount of people that are going to be in here today,” said John Rhodback, a bartender at Ray’s Place.

Rhodback said the morning is usually slower while people are celebrating outside.

“Around 4:30 p.m. is usually when it starts to get pretty hectic,” Rhodback said. “But with the cold weather this year, it might take a toll on the crowd.”

The cold weather did not seem to stop too many people from walking around in green top hats and fake orange beards. The streets were filled early in the morning with students eager to either celebrate their Irish heritage, or pretend they were Irish for the day.

“I’m Italian,” Boehringer said, “But what better day to fake being Irish than Fake Patty’s Day?”

Danielle Johnson is the jobs reporter, contact her at [email protected].