Undeterred students continue partying into the night for Fake Paddy’s Day

Crowds of people wait to enter Barflyy for Fake Paddy’s Day on Friday, March 13.

Morgan McGrath Reporter

“We started drinking at 8 a.m.” 

A former Kent student who identified himself as John waited patiently outside of Barflyy on Saturday night in downtown Kent. 

Fake Paddy’s Day 2021 had begun. Long lines of people filled the sidewalks in front of bars, and smiling faces were commonplace. 

John said he and his friends would likely be out drinking until 2 or 3 a.m. 

However, he commented that this year’s events look different than in years past. 

“Last time I was at an actual bar was Fake Paddy’s last year,” he said. “It was a lot different.” 

For many college students, the sudden 2020 rise in COVID-19 cases created a sense of fear and discomfort. 

John, who was recently vaccinated, said it’s important to have an enjoyable experience with friends. 

He said, “Just have a good time. If you’re young and don’t have any underlying conditions, you’re probably not gonna get it [COVID-19]; it’s probably not a big deal.” 

The line moved forward, and John followed suit. 

Almost every downtown bar had people lined up outside waiting to get in on Saturday night. Many students, like John, had been partying since that morning. The vast majority of students did not seem to be wearing masks. 

Two friends, who identified themselves as Emily and Apoorva, said they had started celebrating that night in an apartment before heading out and lining up outside of 157 Lounge on S. Water Street. 

“It’s just nice to be back in the vibe of being in college,” Emily said with a smile. 

She added, “I’m just here to have fun.” 

Both women carried masks with them, but had taken them off for photos and were not wearing them at the time of the interview. 

Not everyone stayed out all night, as two friends who identified themselves as Jessie and Emily headed home around 11 p.m.

“It was kind of crazy. The lines were crazy,” Emily said. 

In contrast to previous years, COVID-19 has become a major factor in college life and the local bar and restaurant environments. 

“I think this year was more crazy because people were built up. Like, they want to go out,” Emily said. 

Jessie added, “It’s been so long.” 

However, the friends tried their best to take COVID-19 restrictions seriously and were both wearing masks.  

“We took precautions, though,” Emily said. “This is our first time going out in two weeks.”

They commented that the bars were busier than usual, but in terms of Fake Paddy’s Day, the larger crowds were to be expected. 

“Not like years past, like the craziness of years past that I’ve been through, but it still was just a fun night,” Jessie said. 

“For Fake Paddy’s, I think this is normal,” Emily said.

Morgan McGrath is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].