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Bartender Hadley Smiddy serves customers green beer at Courtside Pizza on Court Street on Green Beer Day, March 9. 

Students take a study break to celebrate Green Beer Day

Students and alumni took to Court Street to drink green beer and enjoy the weather.

Some students took a break from class to celebrate Green Beer Day, while others took a break from celebrating to go to class.

Joe McCoy, a senior studying art history, started drinking at 10 a.m. and “hustled back” to campus at around noon to attend his frisbee golf class.

“Really important class,” McCoy said. “Couldn’t miss it.”

It was his only class that day.

Bars served green-dyed beer Wednesday for Green Beer Day, a tradition that began as a way for students to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Athens back when the real St. Patrick’s Day fell over spring break, according to a previous Post report.

McCoy said the real celebration wasn’t about the green beer or St. Patrick’s Day.

“It could be purple beer day,” he said. “It isn’t necessarily attached to St. Patrick’s Day. It’s just a Wednesday, and it’s a beautiful day outside.”

He said he wouldn’t compare Green Beer Day to fests because there aren’t as many undercover police or underclassmen out on Green Beer Day.

McCoy didn’t mind that Green Beer Day came on a Wednesday. He said it added to the atmosphere.

“If you’re out, you’re skipping classes and responsibilities to have a good time,” he said.

Katie Simpson, a senior studying sociology and criminology, took a break from classes to join the festivities. She and a friend had two aquariums each at Red Brick.

“I’m just a little tipsy,” Simpson said.

Simpson planned to return for her research methods class at 4 p.m.

“Hopefully my professor doesn’t hate me,” she said. “She was expecting it from some of us, at least.”

Wednesday was Rick Sanchez’s first Green Beer Day, and this year is his last spring in Athens. Sanchez, who graduated from OU with a degree in finance and business economics in December and is staying in Athens until he starts at his new job, called going out Wednesday his “last hurrah.”

“You need time to unwind before you become an adult,” he said.

Previously, he avoided drinking because he was “deathly afraid of getting arrested,” but turning 21 has cured that fear.

“Please don’t remind me how much I’m going to miss it here,” he said.

Lauren Hartsel and Andrea Kuzma, who both studied dental hygiene at OU until recent years, made the hour and a half drive to OU just to celebrate because the dentist office they work at near Columbus was closed for the day. They planned to spend the day and night in Athens and drive back at 4 a.m. after they sobered up.

“Get drunk, sober up, take a nap, go to work,” Hartsel said.

Hartsel said she’s celebrated every year, but doesn’t have any crazy stories, at least not yet.

“I’m sure I will later tonight,” she said.


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