UMass students celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Blarney Blowout

Hampshire County

It’s the time of year when UMass students celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Blarney Blowout celebration.

Saturday marked UMass Amherst’s annual Blarney Blowout celebration. The annual off-campus party is a time for people to get together and have fun celebrating the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day.

The event has gotten out of hand in the past. About five years ago, police had to use pepper spray on students after a riot took place.

Police and school officials have come up with a plan to prevent that from happening this year. As a way to make sure students celebrate safely, the university held a free concert at The Mullins Center and are encouraging students to attend the hockey game later Saturday night.

Sophomore Eva Scapicchio told 22News, “It’s a good way to make sure kids are in one spot rather than everyone wandering the streets, which no one wants. Now I feel like it’s more chill, you just go where your friends, you stay together, go to one location and you’re fine.”

Increased amounts of town and campus police have been patrolling the UMass campus since early Saturday morning. 

Sophomore Sophia Malinn told 22News, “Literally from last night at like 6:00 they had security in the dorms, there are cops everywhere. I think they are here more for our safety rather than to stop the event.”

In an effort to mitigate crowd sizes, UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said the school has put guest and parking restrictions in place ahead of this weekend.

UMass Spokeswoman, Mary Dettloff told 22News that as of 5:15pm Saturday, just two arrests were made, one for a liquor violation and one for disorderly conduct. Four people were taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital for alcohol related issues.

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