St. Patrick’s Day: City preparing for big crowds, UD Police increasing weekend presence

The Flyers aren’t in the tournament this year, but there’s still a chance of some March madness in Dayton this weekend.

St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday for the first time in six years, and the busiest drinking day of the year for some local businesses is expected to draw even larger crowds than usual because most people will have the day off.

Dayton police say they are ready for the holiday, even if the revelry gets out of control.

RELATED: St. Paddy’s is on a Saturday. Last time, Dayton got rowdy.

University of Dayton police will increase the number of officers patrolling student neighborhoods this weekend, school officials said. UD is partnering with with Dayton police, Sinclair Community College police and the Ohio Division of Liquor Control to increase the presence of law enforcement in residence halls and student neighborhoods.

“I’m not really concerned about that. Our students behave. They know their expectations in cold weather and warm weather,” said UD police Chief Rodney Chatman. “There are likely to be more students out…but I think we’re adequately resourced to keep the neighborhoods safe.”

Most students who were enrolled during the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day disturbance have since graduated or left and the events of a few years ago are rarely talked about anymore, UD administrators said. But, March 17 “isn’t a random Saturday,” said Christine Schramm, UD dean of students and associate vice president.

As usual, UD has a number of campus events planned for the the holiday weekend. Fliers have been printed and posted, encouraging students to attend events that are not centered around alcohol.

“It’s important that we have different kinds of events for different kinds of students,” Schramm said. “Not everyone has to or should engage in this kind of behavior. Not everyone has to enjoy a beer on St. Patrick’s Day.”

Dayton Police said they do not expect to see the kinds of raucous crowds that flooded the streets around the University of Dayton on the early morning of St. Paddy’s Day in 2013 when the holiday fell on a Sunday.

“We do take precautionary measures and set up contingency plans in case of something getting out of hand,” said Dayton police Major Joseph Wiesman.

On Saturday, the streets of the Gem City will turn green as they fill up with fun-seekers wearing the color of Ireland, the Emerald Isle.

The festivities begin early and, at some places, the party will not come to a close until the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Many bars across Dayton will see increased foot traffic, but some hot spots typically include the Dublin Pub at 300 Wayne Ave., Flanagan’s Pub at 101 E. Stewart St. and the Oregon Historic District.

RELATED: Your guide to St. Patrick’s Day events in Dayton

Flanagan’s is expecting a substantial increase in foot traffic for St. Patrick’s Day this year since it is on Saturday, and the holiday already is by far the busiest day of the year for the business, said Colin Pohlman, the pub’s owner.

This year, Flanagan’s will have live music in its tent throughout the day, accompanied by Irish dancers and a fife and drum corps, he said.

Dub Pub, which expanded in 2014, every year sets up a tent in the parking lot to accommodate the large crowds. There will be other festivities at nearby businesses. Up the street, at 210 Wayne Ave., Troll Pub at the Wheelhouse will open on St. Paddy’s Day.

Stepped-up police patrols will be out in the Oregon District and around the UD campus.

Dayton’s East Patrol Operations Division will have about an additional dozen police officers working on Saturday, some of whom will assist UD police, said Major Wiesman.

The division will have about 30 police officers working the holiday.

The Central Patrol Operations Division, which covers downtown, also will have a beefed up police presence.

Dayton police have contingency plans for many types of emergencies. For example, police have paddy wagons available in case they need to make mass arrests if riots break out, Wiesman said.

Wiesman, however, does not expect major problems on Saturday or Sunday morning. St. Paddy’s Day has been less hectic than some of the partying following major UD basketball victories, he said.

TRENDING: Hundreds of students walk out at schools across southwest Ohio

The last time St. Paddy’s Day fell on a Saturday was March 17, 2012.

Dayton Municipal Court records show there were 29 people in the city who were charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and open container violations that day.

That’s more charges than the last three St. Patty’s Day holidays combined.

And since 2012, Dayton has added a variety of new breweries, bars and places to drink.

About the Authors