UMass Amherst prepares for “Blarney Blowout”

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – St. Patrick’s Day comes early this year for students at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Blarney Blowout is celebrated this year on the first Saturday of Spring Break, when students are already in party mode.

Freshmen at UMass Amherst have already heard the legends. “Seems like it’s fun. I mean of course it’s the thing to do that day,” said Freshman Lonny Geller.

Everyone has been warned: Blarney Blowout will have a heavy Amherst police presence this year.

“People gather off campus, pretty much almost the whole school. They get together and just this huge outdoor party, looks like it gets out of control at times,” Geller said.

That’s what happened last year when two thousand people partied at the Towne House Apartment Complex in North Amherst. Seven students were arrested.

The school sent out an email Monday, reminding students this is not a school-sanctioned tradition. Blarney Blowout is held outside the off-campus apartments here on Meadow Street, and while it’s not on campus, students told 22News they understand why the school sent out an email about it.

“Pretty much all UMass students so I mean they want their reputation to be good so I guess they can have a say,” said Freshman Karina Palmer.

In the email, students were reminded they could not only face school punishment but also get arrested or fined by the town of Amherst.

“It’s something that should be addressed, but I don’t, but I mean to the extent that I think they should shut it down and not let college kids have their fun, that’s a different story,” said Sean Higgins, a Sophomore at UMass Amherst.

Off-camera, most students told 22News they were planning on going, but that they were going to be more careful this year.