Everyone has heard about the hype and attention the great St. Patrick’s Day party at UMass Amherst has received over the last few weeks. It should really be called Blarney Blowout because of how blown out of proportion it is by the media.
Fuckin’ politics. Obviously every UMass student is going to hate the administration and police for their lack of leniency, and rightly so. They feel like they got their rights infringed upon, and they kind of did. The administration sees it as a hazard to the safety of the students and members of the Amherst community, which it kind of was. However, being a part of this scene and watching it unfold from an outsider’s point of view, I can see arguments from both sides and draw conclusions from there.
My opinion is that the administration and police were way too strict with their zero tolerance type of policy. The fact that the students knew this would happen ahead of time this year made them go much harder, much earlier, due to the fact that they didn’t know when the fun would be forced to come to an end.
That aspect in conjunction with the typical “governing power is too harsh è people are going to rebel” type of thing has been seen countless times in history, and it never works out well for both sides. So here is my solution: both sides need to compromise. The administration needs to let the students know ahead of time that they will permit parties and gatherings (as long as they don’t get out of hand) until the mid-afternoon. At which point, police will stroll through and kindly let everyone know that time is up. The students will peacefully fall back into smaller house parties or pregames for a normal night. As long as the students are compliant, no one will get arrested or tear gassed. Simple. Fair. Compromise.
Nevertheless, it was a great time for everyone who didn’t get arrested and/or hit with tear gas. The all day and all night celebration is observed by virtually every UMass student, but is also the host to many visitors from other schools, one of them being me. So, here is a rough timeline of my Blarney Blowout experience:
9:30 PM Arrive in Amherst and meet up with up my boy Looch.
9:33 – Pregaming at a house party off campus. I was told ahead of time that this would be a chill night because everyone is waking up early for the all-day Blarney Blowout festivities. My rationale: I’m at UMass, I’m getting fucked up. Looch agrees.
9:35 – Drinking games.
10:30 – Drinking games.
11:00 – New party. More people. More drinking games. The intel was correct, very slow night for UMass standards. However, it did not slow Looch and I down drinking-wise.
11:30ish to 4AM ish – Kinda blacked out. Just remember getting cheddar cheese combos at a convenience store and passing out on Looch’s couch next to some couple on an air matress that was visiting one of his rando roommates. For all I know they could have been doing unthinkable things right next to me all night, but I was passed out way too hard to notice.
9AM – Wake up to Looch giving me a cup of coffee and my cousin Caitlyn calling me to get up and come pregame with her and some friends. She graduated last year and was staying the weekend with her friends who are seniors.
9:06 – Shower and another cup of coffee. Definitely still drunk.
9:22 – After I put the same clothes back on (all my stuff is in my cousin’s car) I met Caitlyn and her friends at some house party where everyone is doing a power hour. I pass on the power hour and settle for easing myself back into drunkenness with some blue guys (Bud Light).
9:37 – So much for that. Taking shots of Fireball whiskey.
9:43 – I’m gonna puke.
9:44 – Oh wait, no I’m not.
10:39 – We make our way over to the area called Brandy Wine and there is a massive crowd outside. Has to be at least a thousand people, all wearing green, gathered in this outdoor area. Snowballs and beer cans are being tossed around everywhere and people are waving Irish and American flags, shotgunning beers, and making yellow snow wherever they want. We join the crowd.
11:26 – I have run into at least 15 people from my high school. Small world.
11:42 – Girl next to me gets hit with a snowball then yells “Seriously? Like can you fucking not?” I lost it.
12:18 – Riot police show up when someone set off fireworks. We book it out of there while the people behind us were getting shot with paintballs or rubber bullets or something. Police were shooting into the open crowd. Pushing us at least a mile away from the scene, literally destroying anyone in their way.
12:30 – We go to some bar and grab lunch, formulating what to do next.
2:03 – I meet up with my boy Larsoff and some of his friends who are all visiting for the weekend.
2:42 – We steal Looch from his friends and go to a house party. Larsoff, Looch, and I lived together when we studied abroad in Florence and this is the first time we’ve been back together.
2:43 – We drink thoroughly in celebration.
2:59 – We pretend we live at the house and thank everyone for coming to our party. One kid came up to us and explained how he didn’t really know anyone there but wanted to be admitted into the house anyway. He even offered to pay us. We told him we thought he was a real straight shooter and let him in free of charge. We might be assholes sometimes, but we’re not bad people.
3:20 – We’re all still chilling at the party and Looch is telling everyone who walks by “hey, you did good today!”
3:41 – Larsoff and I are talking to this kid who is absolutely plastered just because everything he says is hilarious. At one point he looks out the window and realizes the sun is out then says “wait, is it tomorrow?” We told him it was Wednesday and then let him sit down and nap.
4:08 – Looch is hitting on everything that doesn’t have a dick. Classic Looch.
5:12 – We go to the dining hall. Looch is absolutely reckless, flinging food everywhere. Kid with the laptop at the table next to us who was catching up on his soaps while eating did not seem pleased.
6:19 – We go to Tackstyles’ place to chill and pregame the night but it really wasn’t pregaming considering we were two days into a serious bender. Mook was also present.
8:13 – Thoroughly shitfaced again. Let’s go to a party.
8:42 – We make friends with the kid on the bus who is handing out Natty Ices. Free culture is the best culture.
9:04 – We get to the party. Absolutely packed. Decent showing for the burgah population of UMass.
9:19 – Mook to some turkey burgah: “Hey, you want to get a pizza later and fuck?” Girl: “Ew, no.” Mook: “What, you don’t like pizza?”
9:23 – Me to some burgah: “Do you know how much a polar bear weighs?” Girl: “You’re really gonna use that pi—“ Me (cutting her off): “Me neither, lets fuck.” Her (still processing what I just said): “Very funny.” (walks away). She definitely thought about it.
10:26 – Memory starting to fade again.
10:51 – We meet a kid from Cork, Ireland who brags to us about how much pley his accent gets him. Sick dude.
11:29 – Charles of the day award goes to the freshman who paid Mook for a shot of JD. Kid looks just like Adolfo from Toucher and Rich.
11:55 – I’m gonna puke.
11:56 – Wait, no I’m not.
This is what I remember from midnight on – We leave the party and I meet up with my friend Tommy and some of his friends. We miss the bus to the party we were going to so we just get pizza. I work some serious game on the 27 year old burgah in the pizza place, but a bunch of kids who I assume are from Jersey get into a fight and quickly influence this burgah to take the pizza to go with her friends. No pley. I think we then wander around Amherst and then go back to Tommy’s. I pass out on his tile floor around 4AM.
Wake up, eat (longest line I have ever seen at a Dunkin, ever), head home eventually. I get home that afternoon still wearing the same clothes I was wearing when I arrived on Friday.
I recommend attending Blarney Blowout at least once. It may take a year or two off your life. You may get shot by rubber bullets and hit by tear gas. But you will definitely have a good time.