Live: Unofficial '18

Live: Unofficial '18

WDWS' Tim Ditman is covering today's revelry on Snapchat. Follow along here. Listen to Ditman's report here.

The News-Gazette's Adalberto Toledo is on the scene via Twitter. Follow along here.

***

1:45 p.m.

Girl Scouts Jayla Hawkins, 9, and Addy Coval, 9, of Mahomet, took advantage of the crowds Friday to get rid of the rest of their cookies for the season.

Hawkins’ mother, Stephanie Hawkins, said they’d sold over 50 boxes in just 30 minutes. She and her daughter sold over 200 cookies on Unofficial last year.

“we’ve actually been able to come out on Unofficial and sell cookies for the last three years,” Hawkins said. “This is the last of our cookies, we had about 150 left and we’re already down below a hundred.”

While Hawkins took payment, Addy and Jayla kept up a choreographed advertisement they came up with, chanting “Girl Scout cookies, $5 a box. Pay cash, debit, credit or Venmo.”

“That was all them,” Hawkins said of the choreography.

On John Street, the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship put up a table and handed out water to people. Another group by the University Baptist Church did the same.

Farther down on John Street, graduate Kendall Riechman hosted a party at her house. She said even though she was not an undergraduate student anymore, she still wanted to celebrate one of her favorite “school holidays.”

“I just wanted to get all my friends together and party like we used to,” she said. “We’re just chillin’, drinkin’. Just trying to have a good time.”

On Campustown, groups of people wearing their green Unofficial shirts and decked out in leprechaun-wear headed into houses and apartment buildings. Students gathered on balconies and cheered on fellow celebrators walking down the streets, hooting and hollering in excitement.

***

10:15 a.m.

Across Campustown, groups of young men and women are heading to parties and hitting the bottle, not the books.

Nina Townsend, 21, and Maria Guzman, 21, both skipped their 8 a.m. classes — and their 9 a.m. classes — to start celebrating Unofficial this morning.

Townsend, who said she’s celebrating her Irish heritage, knocks anyone who doesn’t like Unofficial.

“Don’t be such a party pooper,” she said. “We work so hard. I take so many classes, I’m taking 18 hours this semester. Everyone deserves a break every once in a while.

Guzman has been at the UI since she transferred here from DePaul in the fall. She always heard about the day-long party at the UI and is happy she can finally participate.

“I didn’t think it would be like this,” she said, expecting it to be a bit more wild in the streets. “But honestly I’m having so much fun already."

— Adalberto Toledo

***

9:15 a.m.

On a chilly Friday morning, green-clad college students walk on Green Street carrying bags of liquor and mixers for the rest of the day.

Brad Petersen, 22, a student of the UI’s Chicago campus, said he got in just an hour ago, greeted with a shot of tequila.

“I’m ready for the rest of the day,” he said. “Just got to drink water and you’ll make it through to the end.”

— Adalberto Toledo

***

One year after the third student death in 12 years led a 'speechless' and 'saddened' Chancellor Robert Jones to say 'we must find a way to work together as a community to end this event,' the unsanctioned Campustown party that is Unofficial St. Patrick's Day is back. A few numbers of note:

35

University of Illinois police officers scheduled to work mostly 10-hour shifts today. For comparison's sake: 13 were on duty last Friday, UI police spokesman Pat Wade said. The campus cops will be joined in their peacekeeping effort today by Champaign, Urbana and state police.

$350

The penalty in Champaign for using a fake ID, providing alcohol to a minor, possessing kegs without a permit and playing music so loud that it violates a noise ordinance. Friendly reminders were shared with students in a cheat sheet put out by the Champaign Community Coalition.

114

Citations issued during last year's event, the lowest in 10 years. (There were 364 in 2011). Fifty-two were for public possession of alcohol and 41 for minors in possession of alcohol. Thirty patients were treated at hospitals for intoxication issues.

59

Shares of a tweet (as of 7 a.m. Friday) posted Wednesday by @2girls1adrian that about says it all:

— Jeff D'Alessio

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acylum wrote on March 02, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Wow...a GS troop leader bringing children to campustown during unofficial to sell cookies.  Anyone else think that to be a little inappropriate?

CommonSenseless wrote on March 02, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Sounds like smart business. Drunks need to eat and make bad choices, like eating boxes of cookies.

RatDog wrote on March 02, 2018 at 1:03 pm

I bet there are no Asian nor Indian students wasting their time with stupid unofficial.

Chambanacitizen wrote on March 02, 2018 at 3:03 pm

The city and police promised World War 3. The death! The horror!
Not even close. Everyone calm down.

Khristine wrote on March 02, 2018 at 4:03 pm
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These reports were from Friday morning. Like there’s going to be total drunken mayhem at 10 am. Seriously! Let’s get to 10 pm and then we’ll get into the nitty-gritty and Girl Scouts are not going to be the top line of the story.