UPDATED 03/07/11 6:34 a.m.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (CBS) – The South Side Irish Parade might be a thing of the past, but an unofficial St. Patrick’s Day tradition is still going strong at the University of Illinois.
This is despite attempts to shut down the annual event at the Champaign-Urbana campus.
The Champaign News-Gazette reports the event began as a promotional event from an area bar owner to make up for money lost when St. Patrick’s Day falls during spring break. Now, it’s a two-day drinking event that draws students and people from out of town, the newspaper reported.
Police reports show 328 violations since Saturday, including minors with alcohol and throwing things from balconies.
Last year, there were 269 notices. In 2009, there were 351.
Also, a man in his 20s fell three stories from an apartment balcony and had to be hospitalized, police told the News-Gazette.
The drinking over the weekend is intense.
The News-Gazette followed two students from Illinois State University who came to campus, and started the weekend at 6:30 a.m. Friday with a shot of liquor with their breakfast. At 10 a.m., they played a drinking game called beer “power hour,” followed by a boilermaker called the Irish car bomb. By Friday afternoon, they were napping, the News-Gazette reported.
The event has brought far more severe problems than were seen this year. In 2006, a university graduate died in a falling off a motorcycle in an alcohol-related accident.
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