Updated 03/15/2013 04:57 PM
City prepares for St. Patrick’s Day weekend
City officials in Albany are gearing up for a big holiday weekend. This Saturday is the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. Our Karen Tararache has more on how the city is getting ready.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- People have been celebrating St. Patrick's Day since the 17th century. Wearing green, eating corned beef and cabbage, those are just a few of the traditions associated with the holiday, but for some, lately, it's turned into more of a reason to go out to bars and drink through the weekend.
Albany Police Chief Steve Krokoff said, "We want people coming in and enjoying themselves with their grandparents with their children and we expect that people will behave in a manner that is consistent with that type of environment.”
But there are situations when celebrations involving alcohol can turn dangerous.
"Kegs and eggs, I believe is the weekend before St. Paddy’s Day where everyone gets crazy drunk from morning to night as long as they can,” said Anthony Acosta, a senior at St. Rose.
It was that excessive drinking and partying that led to the kegs and eggs riot in Pine Hills two years ago.
Acosta said, "There was a lot of noise violations. A lot of vandalism and it was a pretty scary situation in Albany."
“Guys were going crazy, jumping on cars,” Hudson Valley senior Kelvin McPherson said.
“I actually know a couple of friends that know a couple of friends that went to jail because of it,” Pine Hills resident Samantha Thomas said.
Since then city officials have made sure to take extra precautions in preparation for the parade on Saturday.
“People can misbehave if they drink too much. We ask people to look out for each other. We’re not going to put up with behavior that’s going to be destructive or distract from the good part of the weekend,” said Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings.
A mobile command unit set up on Quail and Hudson streets will also ensure that students spending their spring break in the area don't get out of hand this year.
Krokoff said, “There will be a very noticeable police presence mostly walking and bicycle a where the people will be and we're prepared for a large influx of people to come and enjoy the day but by all means dress warm.
Chief Krokoff is not the only one that doesn't foresee another kegs and eggs riot happening this year. One of the Gourmellas Pizza owners said that last year, and so far this year, it has been really quiet. And some students we spoke with said they're actually leaving Albany because it’s become too boring around here with the mobile command unit set up on the corner.