Townhouse Apartments, North Amherst 3:45 PM Saturday
Yes of course everyone both young and old should be able to enjoy a warm Saturday afternoon especially considering the Arctic like conditions we endured the previous weekend. And nothing goes better with a warm day than a cold beer, or two.
But the problem lies in moderation, both in crowd size and number of beers.
The quad at Townhouse Apartments in North Amherst can hold 1,0000 revelers. On Saturday it never approached half that and Amherst police never received a complaint about the noise or activities of the crowd, so all ended well.
But all it takes is for one participant to throw a snowball which is answered by an empty beer can and some idiot throws a full can or bottle of beer. Then it starts rained dangerous projectiles. Or someone in the middle of the crowd passes out from too much alcohol and AFD needs to get to them fast.
In 2013 AFD needed to get to an overly intoxicated young woman in the center of the quad. The surly crowd responded by lobbing bottles, cans and chunks of ice. APD made six arrests. Of course the following year the weather was also nice and all Hell broke lose. Police made 58 arrests.
Last year thanks to stern messaging from UMass, an expensive concert at the Mullins Center, and the presence of 225 police officers townwide, the Blarney Blowout was a non event.
So I expect this coming March 5th weekend to be the same.
But on any given weekend between now and graduation, when the weather is right, things can go south with the speed of a flying beer can.