Zero Tolerance At St. Patrick's Parade

By Erik Burling

July 22, 2010 Updated Feb 26, 2008 at 5:49 PM EST

The Saint Patrick's Parade fills downtown Binghamton with Irish spirit.

But police say last year, some took the fun too far and disrupted the parade.

Now the city's working to keep the celebration on the right path.

The Saint Patrick's Parade in downtown Binghamton brings out a little Irish in everyone.

But last year excessive excitement caught some people, and police off guard.

"I think last year there was a lot of drinking on the streets," says Gordon Ruston of Binghamton.

"They were unruly and actually disturbed some of the parade goers, and some that were in the parade," says Binghamton Police Chief Steven Tronovitch.

Trovonovich says this year more officers will be working the streets.

They will enforce a 'zero tolerance' policy.

"If you're observed out there by an officer with an open container you are going to be arrested," says Tronovitch.

Police will pay particular attention to the corner of Main and Front Street.

Ed Hickey of Fitzie's Pub says last years problems were not his to handle.

"Everyone shows up with a 40 ounce glass bottle. They drink the beer, smash it on the sidewalk and we're responsible for the crowd out front," says Hickey.

Police say they don't blame the bars.

And this year they will work together.

"This area on State Street, between Court and Hawley Streets will be blocked off... Allowing people to take the party outside.

Although there will be one restriction.

Party goers will have to drink from a plastic cup.

An effort the city hopes will control the drinking and control the crowds.

"College students want to have a day of fun. It's not like we are looking forward to wreaking havoc across the city, we just want to have fun," says BU student Ashley Mayo.

Safe fun the Irish way.

The parade will march through downtown Binghamton Saturday starting at 1:30.

It begins at Court and Fayette Streets, and finishes at Main and Arthur Streets.

Be sure to watch for WBNG's James Gaddis and Gabe Osterhout who will be the emcees.

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