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St. Patrick’s Day traditions

03/16/2010
By:

Ashley Chin

Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again – time to get out all the green clothing and St. Patrick’s Day decorations, in the name of the Irish. Every spring, students on campus celebrate the holiday by joining in the festivities downtown at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, even if they aren’t Irish. St. Patrick’s Day is not only about parades and the luck of the Irish though.
“Ever since I was a little kid, we’ve had corn beef and hash. I always hated it, but we always had it,” said Ashley Sanborn, a junior political science major. “And now that I’m older, it means parades.”
For those who are of Irish heritage, attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade is a family tradition. Some say they have been going to parades for as long as they can remember.
“Well I’m Irish, so it is important to me because of that, and I’ve been going to the parade in Hartford since I can remember,” said Karen Bascetta, a junior psychology major.
Sanborn said she has also been going to the Hartford parade since she was a kid, and 2010 will be her third year going to the New Haven parade.
According to stpatricksdayparade.org, the parade tradition in the Greater New Haven area was born on March 17, 1842. One hundred sixty-eight years later, the parade continues to attract people as they crowd the streets downtown beginning on Sherman Avenue and ending on Orange Street – rain or shine. College students from surrounding campuses in the area have become a large part of the crowd over the years.
“I used to go to the parade in Hartford every year and my family used to have a get-together, but since I’ve been to college I usually just go to the parade in New Haven with my friends,” said Bascetta.
In previous years, college students and others who attended the parade were able to consume alcohol freely throughout the streets as they watched the parade go by.
According to the New Haven Register, however, this year New Haven police are cracking down on alcohol consumption in public. Last year there were many accounts of vandalism to property. People also said they did not feel safe bringing their children to an environment around drunken people because they got out of control.
“This year, I am 21 years old and I want to drink on the streets of New Haven, but I guess this year they have a new policy about zero tolerance of alcohol on the streets, so I will be going to the Hartford parade,” said Hoa Tu, a junior social work major.
People who decide to drink in public will be taking a risk this year, as well as people carrying backpacks that may be filled with alcohol. Police said they will not hesitate to check suspicious bags.
Though the crackdown deflates the fun in the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, students are still thrilled to attend the yearly anticipated parade.
“It makes me feel excited,” said Bascetta.

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