Pay AGAIN? Sure and ye must be after takin’ me fer an eejit

How many of these people do you think would pay TWICE?

How many of these people do you think would pay TWICE?

That’s what I expect a lot of people to say when they leave the St. Pat’s celebration in Five Points this Saturday and try to come back in — assuming, of course, that they’ve learned a cheesy Irish accent from the same dialect coach who trained the “Lucky Charms” guy in “Austin Powers.”

Expect a few donnybrooks over that.

I don’t know what I think. On the one hand, it seems reasonable to me, as it has seemed reasonable to the organizers of this annual festival from time immemorial (this never happened in Jack Van Loan’s day!), to allow people to come back in if they’ve paid once. I mean, when you’ve paid for an all-day event, I can think of all sorts of reasons (say, for instance, you are constitutionally incapable of taking advantage of a port-o-john) why you might need to leave briefly and come back — and you DID pay for the whole day.

On the other hand, the public safety argument has some force on its side, although I’m not entirely devastated by the logic:

But the new policy will allow police and private security to better monitor who is coming and going.

In the past, people were screened the first time they went through the festival gates but not necessarily when they came back, interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago said. Instead, those returning just showed an arm band and walked in.

Now, everyone inside will have been screened, eliminating the risk of bringing contraband, Santiago said. The policy also keeps people from leaving so they can drink more or use drugs before coming back, he said.

“We know that everybody who is in there has been through security,” he said.

Franks also hopes the no re-entry policy curbs some of the disturbances the festival causes in surrounding neighborhoods. There should be fewer people walking through yards and less trash…

What do y’all think?

12 thoughts on “Pay AGAIN? Sure and ye must be after takin’ me fer an eejit

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    The other reason is to stop folks from tanking up off-site, too. A huge issue has been noisy piggyback parties in nearby residences, with, um, lax age restrictions. Here, you have to drink up before you go, and not so much that you cannot walk or make it through security in the first place.

    They do this at all the other similar festivals.

    Re-screening means delays for those who are just coming the once.

  2. Kiki

    It had never occurred to me that someone might LEAVE the festival for the purpose of becoming drunker. But that’s a good point about the under-agers.
    Here’s the problem: At least one of the “unofficial” stages is outside of the cordoned-off area. Henry’s, where Matt is playing at 2, is up Devine Street. So if you want to see his show, you either have to wait until after that show to go to the festival, or pay twice. Boo.

  3. susanincola

    We only ever go to the parade. I don’t like crowds or beer, even if it’s green, so the part you pay for holds no attraction for us. We love the parade, though, and running into friends along the way.


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