The list below is based on a few defining factors:
1. How nationally “famous” is your St. Patrick’s Day party? You may say that you and your bros get “totally wasted” with “perfectly nothing-to-be-ashamed-of chicks” every March 17, but we needed a little bit of other evidence—be it newspaper articles, emails from concerned deans, criminal documents—to corroborate your claims.
2. Are there ample pictures or video of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration? Did we find said picture or video “pretty sweet?”
3. Did your schools’ undergrads/alumni make your case well? Could we taste the Guinness as we read your emails? Could we hear the distant, echoing womp-womps of your day parties as we watched your “I’m Shmacked” videos? Sense memory here, people. When you’re washed up like us, it’s all you’ve got.
Alright, here we go.
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15. “Kegs and Eggs,” SUNY Albany
Your Take: None
Our Take: SUNY Albany kicks off our list with a bang. By which we mean a no-holds-barred riot.
In 2011, Albany paid host to its annual “Kegs and Eggs” celebration. This particular year, things got nasty. Cars were destroyed. Appliances were thrown out of second-floor windows. And, at the end of the day, policemen carried off 16 tons of debris.
Before the infamous incident, Albany was known for a fun, relatively non-controversial St. Patrick’s Day party. Now, it’s controversial enough to have the cops on high-alert. So it must be a big deal at the school, yes?
Yes. No. 15 worthy.
(Sidenote: That 2011 Gothamist post also contains an amazing moment of Internet foreshadowing. Its last paragraph reads: “SUNY Albany administrators also cancelled the annual ‘Fountain Day celebration,’ outraging many students who objected to the collective punishment. According to the Times Union, ‘a 41-year-old student chained himself to the fountain.’ That's correct, a 41-year-old student chained himself to a fountain in Albany to protest a party being canceled.”
That student? SHOENICE HIMSELF. Seriously! Shoenice chained himself to a fountain to protest a party from being canceled. This is like finding an album Elvis recorded when he was 16.)
14. St. Patrick's Day, University of Delaware
Your Take: None.
Our Take: Delaware is widely known for packing its city bars—Kildare's especially—and off-campus houses to the max each St. Paddy's Day. Last year, neighbors complained of the excessive noise and public intoxication at 10 a.m., and you look for that kind of record on lists like this.
Plus, look at that crowd!
13. St. Patrick's Day Parade, Boston Schools
Your Take: “Most people in Boston go to the parade in Southie, get hammered, and try to act like Mark Wahlberg.” — Dan, Boston College
Our Take: There are no large school-specific St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Boston (Massachusetts’ turn is coming a little bit later), but we’re dealing here with a city that boasts the most colleges per capita, as well as one of the country’s largest Irish populations—it’s a St. Paddy’s tinderbox.
A very public good time, in fact, has definitely been had by college kids over the last few years. So good that state representatives are now begging kids to not turn South Boston into Mardi Gras. “Thousands of visitors join us each year for this wonderful tradition and we welcome them,” state representative Nick Collins said, in letters to the presidents of Northeastern, Emerson, Boston College, Harvard, Wentworth, UMass Boston, Boston University and Suffolk. “We do not, however, welcome the Mardi Gras-like atmosphere that has accompanied them in recent years.”
We’ll see how that works out.
12. St. Patrick's Day Week, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Your Take: “Ten-day long celebration. Two days off school. Used to hold Guinness world record for most alcohol consumed in a three day weekend before GBWR stopped keeping track of alcohol related records. Ten straight days of getting wasted and partying.” — Casey, Missouri S&T
Our Take: We’d be lying if we said we knew a ton about the Missouri University of Science and Technology before looking into their St. Patrick’s Day Party. But damnit if the Miners don’t seem to have a quality March 17. According to the school’s Wikipedia page, the event is the “predominant cultural event of the year”—an occasion featuring mass murder of rubber snakes, two days off school, and much green beer consumed.
And, according to reader Casey, the party did once hold the Guinness World Record for most alcohol consumed during a three-day period. This fact, unfortunately, is more unverifiable than your typical 2005 Wikipedia entry.
11. St. Patrick's Day, University of Colorado
Your Take: [Four submission forms left blank with “CU-BOULDER!!!” written at the top.]
Our Take: Tales of incredible excess come to us second-hand from the High State—tales of massive, un-human quantities of green beer consumed, tales of bros peeing green-colored urine on the 18th, and, of course, tales of enormous, non-sanctioned apartment parties.
One apartment complex was the scene of a truly legendary party during last year’s holiday. As a tipster at the time said, “Some kid was actually at the party playing the bagpipes. Music was blasting, people were going nuts, spilling beer everywhere…. All students also got an email on St. Patrick's day titled “Tonight,” saying this: ‘This St. Patrick's Day: Root for the Buffs. Party safely. Look out for each other. Get home alive and well.
“Brought to you by the Dean of Students and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.’”
10. Parade Day, Binghamton University
Your Take: “Our party is extra special because almost all of campus gets fucked up starting at about 8 am. We then go downtown already trashed and start the pre-game parties for the big parade. By the time the parade comes, we're all feeling saucy and ready to party our asses off some more.” — Michael, Binghamton
“As people pack in by the hundreds, the destruction begins. TVs, printers and kegs are tossed out windows liberally. Pianos are smashed, and fireworks are lit off. When the police finally do show up, it’s straight to the bars at State Street, where you remember you were there but don’t actually remember being there.” — Kevin, Binghamton
Our Take: Parade Day falls on the first Saturday of March, and is notable for featuring a strange scene: Thousands of people walking around the off-campus, with Irish coffees and brews in hand, at 8 a.m. By the end of the day, some reports say that 50,000 students and locals are packed into a party on State Street.
(Also, we'd be remiss not to say it: Multiple tipsters emailed us to say that the rugby team traditionally deserves special commendation for throwing an annual 10-keg party. They're just making up for ruining a PERFECTLY GOOD football.)
9. Blarney Blowout, UMass Amherst
Your Take: “Blarney Blowout can be split into two parts. People hit the bars in the morning. Then from noon to 5 pm thousands of kids descend upon the townhouse courtyard for an epic rage. This year the state police along with riot personnel had to break it up. It is an all around awesome time.
We also have a dude playing fucking bagpipes. Irish as fuck.” — David, UMass
“It’s basically like the Tour De France for your liver.” — Brett, UMass
Our Take: That video above? A Dropkick Murphys song come to life.
And while, yeah, there are many, many dudes we see in the frame, keep this in mind—sometimes you’ve got to just break some shit sans chicks, you know? Get animalistic with it.
8. Scranton Parade Day, University of Scranton
Your Take: “Car bombs are flowing at 7:00 am. The entire city is completely smashed by noon.” — Brendan, Scranton
“Even though we don't even go to the parade we ordered about 145 kegs for the best house parties of the year.” — Danny, Scranton
Our Take: Scranton is allegedly home to the second-largest St. Patrick’s day parade in the country. (The largest is New York’s.) Scranton is home to only 75,000 people. (New York is home to over eight million.) You can see where this is going: The town Michael Scott made famous gets pretty, pretty excited for this holiday.
Students at the university, along with thousands of friends and strangers from out of town, traditionally start the day with some good ole fashioned car bombs. And, as the day progresses, they'll continue drinking beer and liquor, while maybe cataching a bit of the parade if they’re lucky.
If they're not? It's house party heaven.
7. State Patty’s Day, Penn State
Your Take: None.
Our Take: State Patty’s Day (actually held the last Saturday of February) is a few spots lower than it would be in a normal year. At its peak, the party was a premier college event, an occasion for State College’s pubs and bars to be completely overrun with raconteurs and drunkards.
Then, the ban hammer came down. All bars were banned from serving alcohol on February 23. Actually…. They weren’t banned, so much as bribed to the tune of 5 grand an establishment.
And, for 2013 at least, the massive celebration was relegated to just a few private apartment parties. But one BroBible writer remembers how great it once was, and how great it can be again. Alum Jared Freid:
“Why is State Patty's Day the best? Simply, because of how it started. I mentioned this in a column a few weeks back, but State Patty's Day was created out of a sheer will to drink. The administration tried to pull a fast one on the student body by planning Spring Break during St Patrick's Day so the student body collectively shook their finger side to side, Dikembe Mutombo-style, and created another day to drink for no reason. I'm sure every school has an awesome St Patty's Day celebration. I'm sure they are just as crazy as Penn State's. But how hard did they work to make that happen? Switching St Patty's Day is like switching the rotation of the Earth. There's a lot of momentum to push against.”
The best example is a hot college chick. She's very into the schedule. She's very into telling you “how totes cray cray finals have been. She doesn't just drink unless the world is pushing for it. She doesn't need “you're sorta kinda St Patty's Day” on a different day. The hot chick doesn't come unless there's a movement (repeat this to yourself whenever having sex).”
Well, consider the Penn State student body moved.”
6. Fake Patty's Day, Kansas State
Your Take: “During Fake Patty's, Aggieville, the local bar district at K-State, is blocked off because of how many people are partying. People come from all over the country to celebrate Fake Patty's. I personally have met people from as far away as Alaska who came just for Fake Patty's. It is such a big party that other universities sometimes send volunteer teams to help clean up after. The city of Manhattan has to bring in cops from around the state to help.” — Tanner, Kansas State
Our Take: A celebration that traditionally takes place the Saturday before Saint Patrick's Day, Fake Patty's Day begins at 6 a.m., attracts a WIDE swath of people across the country, and is known as Manhattan's biggest day drinking event of the year. One news report from the 9th—which features one of the funniest pictures of a guy dancing in front of cops that you'll ever see—said that, while arrests were unfortunately up 34%, thousands of people descended upon Aggieville for the revelry.
For that reason alone, we'd be willing to risk spending the night in a Manhattan jail.
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5. St. Pat's Five Points, South Carolina
Your Take: “They literally close off the whole Five Points, the downtown area, from any cars. Then they have like four-five concerts going on while everyone proceeds to get absolutely hammered. And that's just the day, at night the bars are absolutely packed.” — Andrew, South Carolina
“No open container laws, this is the one day the entire year where cops aren't arresting the college kids for drinking. Beer Vendors everywhere and if the $5 Green Bud Light tall boy is too much, go into any of the 21+ bars where they are selling cheap drinks all day. If the DT area gets a little too hectic for you, just walk 10 steps to the neighboring houses because every one of them is having a party. It is truly one of the best weekend to visit the city of Dreams, Columbia SC.” — Matt, South Carolina
Our Take: While it's more of a city-wide party than just a college party…
… Ah, who are we kidding. The Gamecocks are definitely throwing down harder than anyone else in downtown Columbia.
4. Unofficial, Illinois
Your Take: “It has been said that more drinking occurs on Unofficial at U of I than during many other school's entire year’s. People go to class and take quizzes wasted, campus police guard the large lecture halls, city police guard the residence halls, and best of all, the drinking goes on ALL DAY LONG. God bless America.” — Rob, Illinois
Our Take: Unofficial is commonly used to describe Illinois' Friday party prior to St. Patrick's Day (this year it took place on March 1). Bars open at 8 a.m. natch, kegs stay on front lawns all day long, and many, many Big Ten kids flood off buses and onto campus to help celebrate.
Adding to the charm of the festivities: Champaign's notoriously killer bars.
3. Green Beer Day, Miami (of Ohio)
Your Take: “We start drinking at 2 a.m. and continue throughout the day and into the night. Thousands of students attend class absolutely hammered and with lips greener than a leprechaun’s dick.” — Garrett, Miami
“Craziest day of the year, starts at 3 a.m. and doesn't end until 4 a.m. the next day. Absolutely dope parties that doesn't stop all day.” — Jeremy, Miami
Our Take: Miami boasts bars that open the earliest of any on our list—5:00 a.m.—as well as one of the college party scene's most admirably long-standing traditions. Green Beer Day began in 1952, and since the decline of modesty and temperance, it's since become a huge, day-long party held the Thursday before Spring Break, boasting thousands of kids attending classes intoxicated, 18-20 straight hours of drinking, and countless house parties.
For this reason, Miami alums leave their school with a liver permanently died green.
2. St. Patrick's Day, West Virginia
Your Take: “An unreal amount of house parties, huge frat parties, hot girls everywhere, #1 beer drinking school, #1 PARTY SCHOOL 2013…. Need I say more?” –John, West Virginia
Our Take: Did you watch that I'm Shmacked video?
I mean, John said it: What more can we say?
1. St. Patrick's Day, University of Dayton
Your Take: “The University of Dayton might not sound much. We are a small school catholic school of around 8,000 undergrad. However on that magical day we all call St. Patrick's our school triples in size and the student neighborhood we all call “the ghetto” floods with a sea of green. It is truly a sight to be seen.” — Wilson, Dayton
“Last year, the university was so terrified of what may potentially happen over St. Patty's Day weekend, that the administration bough accidental death insurance for the weekend.” — Joseph, Dayton
“Classes or not, it is guaranteed that the music starts blaring at 4 a.m. with 40's in hand prepping for Tim's to open at 5. After everyone is nice and sauced up, Lowes St in THE GHETTO starts to fill with completely intoxicated patrons dressed in nothing but green. Thousands of your closest friends line the entire street to form the greatest party any school has ever seen. The sea of green, with beer and Jameson being passed around like its some sort of communal stash, parties to the beat of some drunkass bagpiper stumbling the streets in search of liquid gold for payment. UD cops have been seen shotgunning along side students, just for the hell of it.” – Branden, Dayton
“David Letterman said there are 4 places in the world to be for St. Paddy's day… Dublin, Ireland, New York, NY, Chicago, IL and Dayton OH. The thing that makes UD so special for St. Paddy's isn't one specific party…. It's the WHOLE university and most of Southern Ohio, that will migrate to UD's student neighborhood aka “the ghetto.” A magical one big neighborhood and no parents are home. A school with roughly 8000 students living on campus will grow to 18,000 every St. Patricks day. All day the streets are filled with drinkers in green. Every house is open to anyone. Honestly, just follow the music and walk into a house and you'll be thrown a fresh beer no questions asked. The administration sends out an email a couple weeks in advance to all students’ parents [pictured above] urging them to speak with their little Dayton Fliers about not going too hard that day.
“Limitless beer is handed out to complete strangers” — CJ, Dayton
Our Take: This party received far more submissions than any other on our list. I think we get it. It's a party for college kids and their friends at a small, close-knit school where everyone more or less knows each other. And, most important of all, it isn't exclusive. Dayton's St. Patrick's Day is a chance for everyone to get drunk with each other at 4 a.m. and on—the frat kids, the freshman, the campus police (if Branden's testimony is to be believed). The small school's party is comparable with any of the big state school's, which is pretty amazing for a Catholic university of 8,000.
For those reasons, Dayton's St. Patrick's Day takes the No. 1 spot on our list. Enjoy the weekend, bros.