Bracing for Fake Patty’s Day

By The Mercury

Suddenly, its just five days until Fake Patty’s Day, and while a lot of residents haven’t been paying attention — or were perhaps looking for crocuses in the melting snow — city officials and the Riley County Police Department have been on the case.

The “Things to Know Before Fake Patty’s Day” section on the city’s website starts out gently enough, saying, “For many, particularly college students, this is a time to enjoy the atmosphere of Aggieville and the company of friends before the mid-semester break,”

Then it gets down to business, reminding anyone who reads it — we hope KSU students and others planning to drop in on our fair city do just that — that folks who can’t have a good time without breaking the law or ruining the fun for others probably won’t have as good a time as they had planned.

There will be a small army of law enforcement officers — from state agencies as well as neighboring cities and counties — to reinforce the RCPD and “maximize police presence.”

The city, the RCPD and local sponsors have learned from experience, and their preparations reflect it. Again this year, KSU administrators and student government leaders are helping to encourage students to behave appropriately. Parking in City Park will be clearly marked. The Aggieville Business Association, which has sought a special event permit to close Moro Street from 11th Street to North Manhattan Avenue and part of 12th Street beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, will provide portable restrooms and free shuttle service to and from local hotels.

KSU’s Safe Ride will be operating from noon Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday, and Fort Riley’s Riley Rides will run until 4 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Both the Riley County Emergency Medical Services and the Manhattan Fire Department will have staff on hand; EMS will be there for medical emergencies and the MFD will be monitoring overcrowding in taverns. Also, Manhattan Good Neighbors has scheduled a volunteer cleanup in Aggieville and surrounding neighborhoods for midmorning Sunday.

Though some young people might doubt it, none of the law enforcement personnel or other folks paying attention are out to spoil anyone’s party. Far from it. Their collective goal is to “keep things orderly,” stepping in when necessary so that those obeying the law are allowed to enjoy themselves. Those who can’t obey the law ought to stay away.

Residents of Manhattan, especially those who’ve suffered property damage or otherwise been inconvenienced on previous Fake Patty’s Days, expect and deserve no less.

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