A made-up holiday draws thousands of people to Manhattan every year in March. But what’s the story behind Fake Patty’s Day?
Patrick Atchity was a K-State student in 2007 and worked at Tubby’s Bar and for 91.9 ‘The Wildcat’.
When a city St. Patrick’s Day parade was scheduled during spring break, he wanted to do something to make it up to students. That’s when he got a bunch of Aggieville bars to back the idea of Fake Patty’s Day.
“Basically no one knew if it was going to be a hit or a bust. It obviously worked and it worked well. What happened was the students came out in masses,” Atchity said.
But it wasn’t all successful.
“It was an overload. The town didn’t really know how to take it. We weren’t prepared like we should’ve been,” Atchity said. “The streets were bad, the cops were upset, the town was upset. They called it the green plague.”
Since then the tradition has stuck around, and Manhattan has adjusted.
Ryan Bramhall owns Tubby’s and was part of Atchity’s original plan. He’s seen Fake Patty’s Day develop over the years.
“People all over the world show up for this. I’ve met people from Australia, I’ve met people from England. It’s not just a Manhattan Lawrence thing. I’ve seen people, people plan their spring break around it,” Bramhall said. “The big thing is, we want it to be safe and fun for everyone and that’s probably the number one goal.”
Both said it’s now much more than a fun celebration for students.
“The economic boom that the town gets, I know small towns across the country that would kill for that,” Atchity said.
Fake Patty’s Day happens on March 2nd this year.