#define alcoholiday

March 4, 2008
define college illinois

An occasion like Hallowe’en, April Fool’s, or Father’s/Mother’s Day. Though not categorized as an official holiday, is often used as a good occasion to get a good drunk on with friends.

“Shit dude! It’s Hallowe’en, my favorite alcoholiday! Let’s get done up as Zombies and get druuuuunk!!!”


We were in CU this past weekend to close on the sale of our old house (yay!). Seems we hadn’t realized it was “Unofficial” St. Patrick’s Day at the UofI. If you aren’t from the CU area, you’re probably not aware of this particular alcoholiday. Seems several years back, Cochrane (the beer baron of campus, owning 10 of the major campus bars) decided he was missing out on a lot of income since St. Patrick’s Day typically fell during spring break and thus students weren’t taking that opportunity to drink heavily in his establishments. So he instituted “Unofficial”, which comes a couple of weeks before spring break so that students can ditch class on a Friday and get trashed all day long.

In some sense, stuff like this just seems like it’s part of the college experience, but it makes campus a little crazy for those that aren’t choosing to partake. For example, Amanda and I wanted to go to Papa Del’s while we were in town because you just can’t get anything resembling good Chicago-style deep dish pizza in Huntsville. I’d talked to some folks about meeting there on Friday night, only to find out it was Unofficial. Since we didn’t really want to fight our way through all that, we figured we’d go to Pasha for some Mediterranean and hit Papa Del’s up on Saturday night. Talking to some friends, we found out Cochrane realized he was still not making enough money, so he went ahead and extended it a two day party starting this year. So Saturday was out too. Fortunately Sunday night worked out though, so we did get our pizza fix. I’m waiting for the day I hear they’ve extended Unofficial to be a week-long thing like Mardi Gras.

Sample coverage of this year’s activities: Not everyone celebrates alcoholiday… (News-Gazette)

To be honest, this isn’t the first college-wide booze party I’ve come into contact with. While I was at the University of Rochester, there was a day-long party known as Dandelion Day, or more commonly D-Day. Another example of students getting up earlier than they normally would in order to get thoroughly trashed by 10am. Managed to dig up a History of D-Day that gives a bit more background than I can. Talks about how things were substantially toned down during the 90’s with stuff about no open containers. As things typically work, this translated into “you can’t walk around the quad with an open beer bottle in your hand, but if you pour your beer/hard liquor into a plastic cup, you’re good to go.”