Partygoers will have to move indoors for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day. Last year’s tent found on Seagram Drive, where students congregated to party March 17, 2015, won’t be made available this year. </p>
The decision was made because it often attracted more than just local students. The city chose not to pursue it as they found no definite proof that it deviated or better managed partygoers.
“After reviewing events and preparing for this year’s events, we couldn’t effectively quantify if it actually did what it was supposed to do,” said Megan Harris, the City of Waterloo’s director of communication and marketing. “We also heard a number of concerns from local residents that they weren’t a fan of the tent.”
The tent was initially pursued in 2013 as a means to manage the partying on Ezra Avenue. It was formed through the combined effort of the City of Waterloo, WLU, and UW. In the years since the tent was first established, it saw approximately 3,500 attendees each year.
“The hope was that the tent would take away some of the pressure that we were seeing there and redirect them to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a more controlled environment,” Harris said.
The decision to not erect the tent this year was made by the city with consultations from the Waterloo Regional Police, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, both UW and WLU, as well as their respective student councils, and Waterloo Region Paramedic Services.
Students still seeking the tent experience might alternatively head to The Pub on King, where the bar is planning to put up a tent in its back parking lot.
In an article by The Record, Harris explained that this is not an “official event” and has not been licensed.
Regional police, alongside UW Campus Police and Laurier Constable Services, will still be assisting the city in managing partygoers.
According to Nick Manning, UW’s director of media relations, UW has no extensive plans in terms of assisting with managing partying, although continues “to support safe engagement in St. Patrick’s Day activity.” He further explained that UW “advocate[s] to [its] students to party safely.”
Similar sentiments of responsible partying are being expressed at WLU, as David McMurray, the president of student affairs at WLU, explained to CBC News that WLU does not encourage behaviour that conflicts with the student’s academic concern.
“Our student leaders are strongly encouraging all Laurier Golden Hawks to be responsible."