Manhattan, KAN. (WIBW) -- Manhattan officials are looking at putting stricter rules in place during a popular celebration that’s become a tradition in Aggieville and the surrounding area.
Saint Patrick’s Day usually falls during Kansas State University’s spring break so to make up for it, “Fake Patty’s Day” is held the weekend before students leave.
This past year, Riley County officers fielded 700 calls (their busiest day ever), issued hundreds of alcohol citations and arrested dozens of those partying.
“What it’s become is a regional event in which college-aged students from all over the state of Kansas and surrounding states come, they drink a lot of beer and they commit a number of alcohol related crimes. It’s gotten to the point where we’ve got everyone in the agency working that day. It costs us a lot of money in overtime. As we plan for next year, we’re going to have to bring in officers from outside agencies,” said Captain Tim Hegarty who oversees the Riley County Police Department’s Patrol Division.
On Tuesday night, Manhattan City Commissioners discussed making Fake Patty's Day a sanctioned event with sponsors.
Officials said they'd like to see Aggieville merchants and bar owners step up to sponsor the event. With a special event permit, city leaders said they'd be able to have more control of what's happening during the festivities and it would be much safer for all involved. It would also put less strain on the city's police force, fire department and emergency room, they say.
The commission said their main goal is to find a way to prevent overcrowding in Aggieville bars, cut back on binge drinking and also improve safety in the surrounding neighborhoods since house parties have also gotten out of hand in recent years.
Officials would like to see sponsors control access to Aggieville with a checkpoint/gate to get in and wrist bands given to those over 21.
City officials will be meeting with potential sponsors and will bring recommendations back to the commission in the coming weeks.