Hundreds gather downtown for early-morning St. Patrick’s Day festivities

In celebration of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland, about 100 people were waiting to scarf down a breakfast of champions outside the Brewhouse this morning.

As early as 5 a.m., a sea of people dressed in green anxiously waited in the cold ready to chug green beer and chow down on green eggs. Many were also hoping to get a free T-shirt and hat for the first 200 customers.

“When I got here at 5, about 100 people were already waiting in line,” said Steve Scerbovsky, senior history major and doorman at the Brewhouse. “By the time we opened at 5:30, there were already 200 people.”

At about 6 a.m., the speakers started blasting the most Irish music of all – Lynyrd Skynyrd – to set the mood during karaoke.

Fifth-year general studies Heidi Athay sang along to “Sweet Home Alabama” as she held a green beer in one hand and the microphone in her other. She and her friends arrived at 4:45.

“I always sleep in,” Athay said. “This is the first year I’m doing it (celebrating St. Patrick’s Day) in the morning.”

Amidst the hundreds of green-T-shirt-wearing drinkers was Justin Fara, who stood out from the crowd. The fifth-year architect major decided to sport a pink polo shirt with a popped collar because he is “Polish and proud of it.”

At 7 a.m., Glory Days opened to a much more intimate crowd. A group of four Glory Days regulars were the first in line. They were also the first to get served breakfast by chef Adam Smith from the Bistro on Main, who was there preparing omelet’s, potatoes and mimosas for $5.

“He (Smith) was here last year and was a big hit with students,” Mike Beder, owner of Glory Days, said. By 8 a.m., Smith was manning three skillets for a line of about 30 people.

Beder said St Patrick’s Day is the best day of the year for his bar.

“With St Patrick’s being on a Saturday this year, it should be even better than normal,” Beder said. “People don’t have school or work to get in the way.”

Glory Days bartender Kiley Kennedy was working her first St Patrick’s Day.

“I’m excited,” Kiley, a senior English major, said. “I’ve heard I can probably pay a month’s rent in tips.”

By about 9 a.m., BW3 was at maximum occupancy. One group inside was only drinking Irish drinks – Jameson, Guinness and Harp and Irish Car Bombs.

Junior finance major Jason Connell proudly announced he was 50 percent Irish. He and three friends arrived at 5:30 a.m., and said waking up for drinking was a lot easier than waking up for class.

Contact public affairs reporters Kurt Jakub at [email protected] and Jennifer Mussig at [email protected].