City of Waterloo preparing for upcoming St. Patrick’s Day events

By Justine Fraser

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, the City of Waterloo, and the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) are preparing for massive gatherings that often spill into city streets.

In a statement to CityNews Kitchener, a spokesperson for the City of Waterloo said, “there is an operational plan in place for March 17, led by WRPS.”

“We encourage anyone who is planning to celebrate that day to do so responsibly at home or one of the many pubs and restaurants in uptown and throughout Waterloo.”

A student from the University of Waterloo, Hannah Ellis, said she isn’t planning on attending any street parties this year and is opting for an Irish pub with friends instead.

“I feel like its kind of the same thing as homecoming, its just kind of like a celebration and when you live in a city where there is a school you just kind of expect it,” said Ellis.

With the end of the school year coming up for most university students, Ellis said St. Patrick’s Day offers them another way to unwind and celebrate.

A student from Wilfrid Laurier University, Frank Bourne, said he is also not planning on attending the street parties that often take place on St. Patrick’s Day, but because he was raised in the area, he said he knows that students have caused damage in the past.

“It’s always interesting seeing the outfits, those are always crazy, occasionally you’ll see people destroying cars or something like that, but I don’t know nothing particularly grand for me personally,” said Bourne.

Bourne added that the amount of attention the Irish-themed holiday gets every year in Waterloo could also be the cause of some issues.

“It’s almost like the police being there makes it a better party to be at in a weird way.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Wilfrid Laurier University, said “We continue to work in collaboration with the city, police, emergency responders, University of Waterloo and Conestoga College to actively discourage students from attending large unsanctioned gatherings.”

“As part of this, we have been consistently communicating with our students to make safety a priority and to avoid large unsanctioned gatherings.”

Last year it cost taxpayers about $267,000 to police events in the university district in Waterloo.

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