Other Colleges Can Make Fake Holidays, Too!

Since its creation a couple years ago, Penn State has come to love/hate/tolerate State Patty’s Day. It combines the wholesome act of drinking in a group with a misunderstanding of Irish customs. Perhaps someday it will join the ranks of other cherished fake holidays, such as National Talk like a Pirate Day and Arbor Day. As it turns out, we have a lot of competition in the college drinking event arena. Other colleges have been scheduling days to champion liver failure for a long time. But how do their Beer Mitzvahs compare to our own SPD?

These “holidays” will face up to SPD and ranked on a scale of 1 to 5.

The Mifflin Street Block Party at the University Wisconsin-Madison

The MSBP began like many whimsical events: during the Vietnam War. Originally, it was held to protest the war and included music and dancing. Understandably, the police reacted to dancing hippies in the street by beating them with billy clubs and spraying  tear gas. Over the years, the event has changed into a celebration of the end of finals, but the traditional rioting and violence stayed firm. Police officials despise the event and alcohol regulation is intensely enforced. Sounds a lot like State Patty’s to me. It gets a 4 on my scale.

Hash Bash at the University of Michigan

It is exactly what you think it is. You gotta love the Big Ten. This event began back in the ‘70s after a Supreme Court decision left Michigan without a law prohibiting marijuana use for a short time. Hash Bash has continued over the years as a form of protest against restrictions of marijuana use. In this way, it mirrors State Patty’s having a vague symbolic message to mumble to your arresting officer about. However, a party like this is just totally chill, man. It also helps give a new appreciation to the Dave Matthews Band. Only 3 out of 5.

Mayfest at Syracuse

This one was originally started to celebrate student academic work and art pieces. Naturally, it became a time of drink and revelry. College logic demanded it be so. Anyway, as the celebration steadily increased over the years, police resistance sprang into action and grew slightly less apathetic. Some people were ticketed, but mostly warnings were given. Recently, SU administrators have turned the party into a school-sanctioned event. Free beer and music is available to persons over the age of 21 and noise violation rules are relaxed. Wait, acceptance by the university? Clearly someone has been to Hash Bash one too many times. Compromise earns this thing a 1.5.

Maraudi Gras at Millersville

Now, this is what I’m talking about. The first ever Maraudi Gras will occur this year on March 26. The event is apparently being held to raise school spirit and drink heavily. I think a challenger has just stepped into the ring. A generic, falsely inspiring reason for existing? Check. Gaudy shirts and apparel? Check. Expected partying in the streets and police resistance? Check. A horribly uncreative name probably resulting from a misspelling of an actual holiday? Check. Sounds a lot like State Patty’s to me. Hang on a minute. It is very likely this event will actively encourage public nudity. We have ourselves a new champion, folks. Maraudi Gras has come out on top with a 6 !

The “holidays” shown here are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to college drinkapaloozas. Events like Springfest at James Madison University and the Player’s Ball at Southern Illinois University did have the civil disobedience and veiled monetary motivations reminiscent of State Patty’s, but fell just short of making the final cut. Better luck next time.

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About the Author

John Dempsey

John is a Junior majoring in Journalism from Hazleton, PA. He is so awesome that sharks dedicate a week to him. Likes: Video games, vigilante justice, irony, talking bears, Burt Reynolds, El Chupacabra, coloring books, chainsaws, and Australians. Dislikes: Zombies, clowns, zombie clowns, turtleneck sweaters, Apple, poor mustache grooming, nuclear winter, Roman architecture, guacamole, robots, LCD TVs, the color yellow, Velcro, ceiling fans, sprinklers, tornadoes, Belgians, squat thrusts, and romantic comedies.


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