With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, it is time to brace ourselves for the sea of post-secondary students dressed in green who will – both figuratively and literally – litter Waterloo’s infamous Ezra street, along with many of the local bars in town.
Last year, The Waterloo Region Record declared that the annual St. Patrick’s Day Ezra street party was the biggest yet, testing the patience of Peel Regional Police officers and wreaking havoc on local traffic. As much as this event causes challenges for city officials, the students of Waterloo continue to keep the tradition alive and enjoy every minute of the festivities.
Understandably, this has caused a great deal of concern for the community and in the past, police have attempted to shut down the party or prevent it from happening in the first place. However, students relentlessly continue to attend the party and it has now become such a popular event that people commute to Waterloo from out-of-town just to experience it.
Typically, rumours spread across campuses around this time each year suggesting that the street party will be prohibited and anyone who attend could be arrested. However, this year it looks like those rumours will be put to rest as a recent article in The Record has stated that police officers will opt not to attempt to eliminate the party – only to increase efforts to contain it to a reasonable level.
What is interesting to consider is that St. Patrick’s Day originated as a means to honour the patron saint of Ireland, who is famous for converting the Irish to Christianity. He actually established many monasteries, churches, and schools throughout his lifetime in the late 4th century. He passed away on March 17, 461, and so this day was declared by Ireland as his feast day. With this in mind, it is actually quite ironic to think that the modern day meaning of this day provides an excuse to get wasted and cause an uproar in the streets!
Regardless, it brings people all over the world a lot of joy and excitement. So, may we continue to raise our glasses to St. Patrick and whatever else there is to celebrate, because while the significance of this holiday may have dwindled over time, it continues to inspire happy memories for young adults across the world – especially here in Waterloo!