Sunday, March 4, 2012

Horse Sense: The Leprecon proof is in, it's a frat party

What Leprecon proved is that a green t-shirted event on the first Saturday in March is all about having a frat party in Hoboken, paid for by the Mile Square City.

Frat boy's dream lepreconette
Around town it was clear the lower numbers of youngsters doing their own version of a toga party gave law enforcement a fighting chance.  In recent years, Hoboken's police and fire were literally flying around in an attempt to prevent the worst of amateur hour by beer guzzling youth unsure of where the line was and often crossing it, leaving wreckage in their wake.

The Leprecons descended on the City and lined up like little factory led automatons at the nearby downtown establishments.  Those who worked their way uptown on Washington saw no lines and some bars reported less business early in the day, netting about half what they have in previous years midtown and uptown.

Is that enough?  Of course not.  The petitioning for a weekend parade is already underway with voices looking to change the mayor's position even with the obvious success of Saturday's event clear to everyone right down to the street cleaners.

While final arrest tallies are not available from the City, the manageable number of people Saturday will translate into far fewer arrests than the 34 last year.  MSV anticipates we'll see a similar if not better outcome with admissions to the hospital.  (Last year saw a one day record of hospital admissions including a report of one man with multiple skull fractures.)

So what should Hoboken expect ahead?  Well more frat parties of course and likely more people, but it lacks the galvanizing central kickoff to pull in the biggest numbers as with the parade.  The Hoboken parade committee will pause for about ten seconds before it issues its latest non-negotiable demands for a weekend parade and call you an anti-Irish, anti-Catholic racist (semite) if you don't bow down to their demand for unconditional surrender.  As a Catholic that's flat out offensive, as a taxpayer equally bad if not worse.

It's abundantly clear that as long as 21 year olds have disposable income, Hoboken will be a destination for them to dispose of their money in its bars.  The bars will do everything to accommodate them short of not charging them an entrance fee the one day in the year when potential customers pour off the PATH and say take me to your bar which happens to be the walking distance between a bartender and where three girls line up outside.




























It's essential to acknowledge the bar openings at 11:00 aided the effectiveness of law enforcement Saturday and as our neighbors, the bars need to promote good will with residents.  Public Safety Director Jon Tooke spoke in City Council about the value of buying time and the event timing proved he was right.

As for bringing back the parade on the weekend; the idea is a non-starter.  No one wants to see that anymore no matter how much Jamie Cryan and others try to paint common sense as being of some antiquated anti-Irish sentiment.  To believe that, you'd have to believe all those people running around yesterday were from Dublin.  (Why did Cryan cry almost a full year after the parade was moved?  His Old Guard allies didn't breathe a word either and suddenly less than a day before Leprecon, he's griping.)

Hoboken had its biggest frat party yesterday.  A lot of people had a good time and Hoboken residents weren't held hostage for it.  Some would call that a win-win.  Others, well others will complain.  In Hoboken that's hardly new but most residents are not going to want to go back to good old bar days.


One of the few real clashes between police and a Leprecon.  The show of force had a demonstrative effect.

Talking Ed Note: As MSV is looking into more details of the bar crawl, it's clear this was a very young crowd.  It produced a double edged sword with many leaving early and the event slowing down about midnight.  You didn't have the hard core older drinkers who later become angry drunks.  Many of the Leprecons are borderline legal and others aren't just based on their twitter, describing themselves as 20 years old, psychology major, etc.  Fake ID is at its highest success rates these days and they are so good that companies offer free replacements if they are taken away.

As for the lepreconette pictured above, maybe she's 21.  Or maybe not.  But she's hardly alone either way.

Ding, ding, ding... Last call for Leprecon

It's almost last call for Leprecon and the pulse of Hoboken is strong having survived the latest iteration of a mardi gras type party.  Mayor Dawn Zimmer tweeted minutes earlier:


Talking Ed Note: What was clear as each hour came and went stayed consistent through most of the day.  A much smaller event was being well managed by a very effective law enforcement effort with added resources from neighboring communities.

While final figures on arrests aren't available just yet, it's fairly clear Hoboken won't see the dozens from last year and nowhere near the one day record of hospital admissions on this day last year.

Hoboken Fire and Police held the upper hand as a result and they were magnificent!  They didn't ask for the rocket fueled bar crawl but they stood tall for the community.


They deserve both the community's thanks and gratitude.