Albany officials to crack down on 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Photo Credit: MGN

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Thousands of people flock to Albany for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, but last year, some revelers displayed public intoxication and just plain bad behavior.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan says they will not tolerate the kind of behavior that broke out a few years ago, which involved mostly college students smashing and destroying cars and other property. Sheehan stressed that kind of behavior is offensive to people with Irish heritage.

“Irish heritage and pride is not tied to people behaving badly and drinking irresponsibly,” she said.

kegs and eggs
“Kegs and Eggs” 2011

A lot of people start parade day off at Church Street, so the city is trying to keep the event fun and family friendly. One major change the city is cracking down on this year is open containers.

Participants will not be able to carry alcohol with them at the parade, and backpacks and coolers must remain at home. Mayor Sheehan sent a big message to people warning them there will be consequences if they do not comply.

“The balance has swung way too far in the other direction where you have people becoming excessively intoxicated and inebriated and behaving in inappropriate ways along the parade route,” she said. “Those folks can stay home.”

Police will be on the lookout for any inappropriate behavior.

“We’ll be doing our due diligence that day,” Albany Deputy Chief Brendan Cox said. “Extra resources to give them a friendly reminder that their behavior is expected to be appropriate.”

Police are also cracking down on underage drinking. Cox said the police department has connected with communities outside city limits to combat underage drinking.

“We’ve had some discussions with not only the school district here, but other school district because it’s not kids from Albany that were our problems last year,” he said.

Local businesses are also working around the clock. Pauly’s Hotel owner John Mancini and McGeary’s Pub manager Tess Collins said they start preparing for the parade three months out.

“You have to,” Mancini said. “You have to, yes.”

They said it’s everyone will be working, and they’ve doubled staff and security.

“It can be stressful, but everybody’s so excited that you get excited,” Collins said.

There will also be a minor change to the parade route this year. It will end one street earlier at the corner of State Street and Lodge Street.

Police have also set up a hotline for non-emergency services that can double as a tip line if people notice any suspicious behavior.

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