Kent State celebrates Fake Paddy’s Day 2023

Avery Savage, TV2 Reporter


Kait Murray

Kent State University’s Phi Delta Theta throws a darty March 11, 2023 for the unofficial holiday “Fake Paddy’s Day.”

The Party Begins

The Fake Paddy’s Day celebration kicked off early Saturday as students lined frat row with drinks in hand. 

Jake Rankin, sophomore history major and member of Phi Delta Theta, said Fake Paddy’s is consistently a big event for the Kent community. 

“Last year was cold as hell, there was snow everywhere,” Rankin said. “People still showed out, it was a great time.”

Anthony Savoca, senior human resource management major, is another member of Phi Delta Theta. The house had fencing and caution tape around it to make sure everyone was safe while celebrating. 

“We have to [block off the yard] because there’s gonna be a lot of people in and out,” he said. “We have to mitigate risk and like being safe and everything.” 

Kent State students party while drinking from gallon jugs called BORGS, which stands for blackout rage gallon. (Kait Murray)

Most students do not recall their Fake Paddy’s Day memories from previous years. One student with this experience was Isaiah Solcruz, sophomore fashion merchandising major. 

“It’s a blur I’m gonna be honest with you,” Solcruz said. “I gave a lot of hugs.” 

Students were dressed festively in green to celebrate the occasion. 

Courtney Weidow, a senior managerial marketing major, wore white pants and passed around a green marker for people to sign them.

“I wanted to do it during Halloween, be a yearbook, but Halloween sucked for me, so I’m like this is the perfect opportunity,” Weidow said. 

Raimo Palmiero, junior integrated social studies major, had a beer belt around his waist. 

Kent State student Raimo Palmiero prepares to party all day with a belt of beers and a BORG that reads “Kent read, Kent right, can BORG.” (Kait Murray)

“It just holds all my beverages, you know apple juice, orange juice,” Palmiero said. “With school being so busy it’s kind of nice having a reason to go out.” 

Austin Monte, a sophomore digital media production major, found a creative way to drink festively. 

“It’s a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake and Jameson Irish Whisky for the festivities,” Monte said. “It works.” 

Students were drinking and eating all things green. Sophomore fashion merchandising major Brandon Zucker and his girlfriend were making green pancakes at Tau Kappa Epsilon.

“We’re making green pancakes for Fake Paddy’s,” Zucker said. “We’ve been flinging them, and people have been catching them in their mouths.”

Katie Miller was a visiting student from outside the Kent community. 

“I plan to be here most of the day, go take a nap and then do it again at night,” Miller said.

Katie Miller and Ava Tweto “frat hop” for Kent State’s Fake Paddy’s Day March 11, 2023. (Kait Murray)

Corey Cottis, a junior marketing major, said he is looking forward to a fun day ahead. 

“I think today’s going to be a good day, we’re going to attack it, you know win the day,” he said. “We’re academic weapons here at Kent State University.” 

Friends bond as party rages on

Students prepare for a full day of fun as the Fake Paddy’s Day celebration continues. 

Emma Chappel, a freshman hospitality and event management major, grew up celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at home and brought that energy Saturday.

Kent State freshman Emma Chappel with her friends Dominique Gutierrez and Ezekiel West-Johnson from Maryland celebrating Fake Paddy’s March 11, 2023. (Emma Van Winkle )

“I am Irish so it’s fun,” she said. “My grandma is really connected to it, she used to do Irish dancing and stuff so she really loves St. Patrick, so I’ve grown up to love it.”

Like many students, Chappel brought her friends from Maryland to take part in the celebrations.

Sydney Jancsura, a sophomore zoology major, also brought her best friend from her hometown with her to the celebration. 

She said she enjoys celebrating Fake Paddy’s Day by dressing up in green and getting into the spirit.

“I like dressing up. It’s great,” Jancsura said. “Everyone’s wearing green. It’s like we can all take Instagram pictures together and then we all look good.”

Friends junior criminology and justice studies major Anna Holdridge and senior nursing major Madison Kleinendorst agreed dressing up is their favorite part of the holiday.

At one of the student-rented houses, Dylan Mallozzi, a junior finance major, celebrated with friends from Kent and his high school.

“All of my friends from high school coming up, you know I haven’t seen them in a year or so,” he said. “It’s nice for them to come up and meet your college friends.”

Kent State students bringing the Fake Paddy’s day celebration to life at Phi Delt March 11, 2023. (Emma Van Winkle )

He said spending time with his friends was the best part of his day.

“It’s just being with everyone. It’s nice to get together all at once and then have a good time,” Mallozzi said.

Second-year early education major Gianni Weaver enjoyed the energy of celebrating Fake Paddy’s in Kent.

“Just hanging out with friends, walking around town and stuff, it’s an atmosphere, everybody’s up and being,” he said.

Celebrating Fake Paddy’s Day gave friends a chance to make new memories.

“Honestly, just being with my friends cause we’re all in a big environment. And just being with my friends know we’re all close with each other,” said Andrew Rectanus, a sophomore accounting major and Alpha Tau Omega member.

At Kappa Sigma, empty beer bottles and BORGs were being thrown around.

Kent State senior Cole Coppus showing his excitement for Fake Paddy’s Day at Kappa Sig March 11, 2023. (Emma Van Winkle )

Cole Coppus, a senior education, health and human services major, got a piece of glass from a broken beer bottle caught on his shoe.

Coppus was unbothered by the glass and joked about it with his friends. 

“You expect the unexpected on Fake Paddy’s Day,” he said. 

Even former Kent students got in on the fun such as Andrew Pitko, a Kent alumni and former Homecoming king, who returned to celebrate with friends. 

“I’m back here to celebrate the holiday with my boys,” he said. 

Zachary Nolane, a freshman physics major and a Tau Kappa Epsilon member, said people don’t have to drink to celebrate.

“Even if you don’t drink or anything it’s still fun,” he said. “There’s multiple people in the frat that don’t drink or anything. It’s just a fun time.”

10 p.m. but the party’s just begun

In the blistering cold and dim lights of Franklin Avenue, one friendly face sticks out from the mass. 

Marshaun Peterson, an electrician from Niles, braved the brisk wind to party among the Kent locals for the third year in a row. 

“I have a lot of friends out here in Kent,” he says. “Honestly, Fake Paddy’s, out where I’m from, it’s not a thing.” 

Peterson kept checking in for the rest of the night, greeting us as we met him on another street.  

The line converged together to get into Dominick’s and Ray’s Place for Fake Paddy’s 2023 festivities. (Annemarie Karabinus)

Ray’s Place and Dominick’s lines converge into one green and sparkly mass. 

“Stop filming us!” a deep voice yells out; it’s time to move to another street. 

In front of Guys Pizza on S. Water Street, Jonathan Demetrius, 19-year-old criminology major, discussed what Fake Paddy’s Day means to him. 

“I’m out here [because] St. Paddy’s Day is a time to spend with your loved ones and friends that you cherish the most,” Demetrius said.

He then posed with his friend, landscaper Dylan Monchilavis, in front of an already overflowing garbage can of pizza boxes, empty cups and other party paraphernalia. 

After warming up inside the PARTA building stairwell, we headed over to the mass of people waiting to get into Barflyy. The bar was blasting purple lights, loud music and spilling people onto the street.

Mason McCann, a high schooler from Willoughby, handing out free pizza to people in line at Barflyy for Fake Paddy’s 2023. (Annemarie Karabinus)

Mason McCann, a visitor to Kent, distributed pizza from Guys among the shivering huddled masses. He brought pizza to both Barflyy’s line as well as Zephyr’s line.

“Originally I just wanted to keep to myself and eat pizza down by a bench,” he said. “Then, people asked me if they could have a slice and I’m like ‘Yeah, sure.’”

Kent resident Chance Mach was one of those recipients of the pizza. He talked about his arguments over life insurance and getting conned out of $2 for a stick of gum.

“I’m just having a fantastic time,” he said. “I worked until three […] and then I started drinking.” 

Kelsey Banks, the gum con woman as well as a licensed massage therapist, was also one of the hundreds awaiting to enter Barflyy. She didn’t exclusively spend her time waiting for Barflyy.

A confrontation with a police officer outside Water Street during Fake Paddy’s 2023 festivities. (Annemarie Karabinus)

“We waited at Water Street [Tavern],” she said. “But it wasn’t that bad […] We’re gonna party until the bar closes and then we’re gonna get some food and go home and go to sleep.” 

The streets did not have the same mindset. Our shift closed out with screeching cop cars, lots of yelling and discarded BORGs scattered around the many businesses and sidewalks of downtown Kent.

Closing time

Nearing daylight savings time, energy is still high in downtown Kent. 

“There are good vibes here,” said Hadi Alajmi, a sophomore aeronautics major, who waited with friends in the block-long line for Barflyy.

The group agreed that Fake Paddy’s is the highlight of Kent’s nightlife.

“We go here every weekend,” he said. “I can’t miss it. Especially for this day.”

Alajmi said the energy was “incredible” downtown.

Matt Brown (left) and Joey O’Leary (right) share a laugh during Kent’s Fake Paddy’s Day Celebration Mar. 11.

Matt Brown, a third-year business management major and member of Phi Sigma Epsilon, said he had been celebrating since 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

“This is the first time I’ve been out here for this,” Brown said. “I love it. It’s definitely one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.”

Brown celebrated with his frat brothers, including Joey O’Leary, a junior marketing major. 

O’Leary said he was “here to have a really good time with my real good friends.”

Kaelin Azbell, a sophomore zoology major, said Fake Paddy’s was her first time exploring Kent nightlife. 

“I love it,” she said. “It’s very friendly and energetic. Crazy in a good way.”

Not all students were enjoying themselves by the end of the night.

“We’re kind of pissed right now,” said freshman forensic psychology major Emma Schilling after members of Delta Tau Delta wouldn’t let a member of her group into the frat. “We brought like ten girls and one guy, and they won’t let him in.”

Many people came from surrounding cities to partake in the festivities.

Mychal Wicker (left) and Cameron Subbs (right) wait outside Bar 157 to continue the festivities of Kent’s Fake Paddy’s Day Celebration Mar. 11. (Janson McNair)

Cameron Subbs and Mychal Wicker of Youngstown said they come to Kent often for the nightlife. 

“It’s fun out here,” said Subbs. “It’s electric.”

“Kent State’s lit,” Wicker agreed. “It’s energetic. And everyone’s pretty friendly too. Some places you’ll go there and people will be mean to you, but Kent’s always been really positive for me.”

They weren’t the only Youngstown natives in Kent for Fake Paddy’s Day.

“We knew it was my birthday, but then all of my friends told me it was Fake Paddy’s Day,” said Kelly Roumford, also of Youngstown, who celebrated her 25th birthday at Zephyr’s bar with friends. 

She said out of all the bars they went to, Zephyr Pub was the best. 

“Barflyy had a really long line, but Zephyr’s came to represent,” Roumford said.

Deidre Keener (left), Renasia Waller (center left), Maria Hanshaw (center right), and Tori Hanshaw (right) waiting outside EuroGyro before entering a confrontation with another patron during Kent’s Fake Paddy’s Day Celebration Mar. 11. (Janson McNair)

Renasia Waller is a former Kent State student from Youngstown who also celebrated. She called the environment downtown “a vibe.”

Maria Hanshaw, who arrived with Waller, said even though they don’t attend KSU, word about Fake Paddy’s Day got around. Hanshaw, a mother, said she was glad she got the opportunity to celebrate.

“We know about the hype,” she said. “My friend goes here and last year I came out here. This year, I was able to find a babysitter last minute so here I am.”

Savana Capp, Adriana Gasiewski, Grace Davies and Leah Shepard are reporters. Contact them at [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].

Avery Savage is a TV2 reporter. Contact her at [email protected].