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St. Pat’s, AP style

The Best Best Ever Ever is now in the history books, along with the previous 99 celebrations. But before we retire this blog, we’ll be sharing images and thoughts from this past weekend over the coming days. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from a story by Alan Scher Zagier of the Associated Press, who visited campus for Saturday’s festivities.

Excessive drinking is no longer the accepted standard, not after a pair of alcohol-related student deaths in 1988 and 1991 connected to the student group that runs the weeklong party.

And the legendary if disgusting “Alice” – a cattle trough filled with stale beer, road kill and other unmentionables into which members of the St. Patrick’s student court were unceremoniously thrown – was retired a decade ago.

But while Alice doesn’t live here anymore, the tongue-in-cheek celebration of all things Irish has survived its first century as a combination class reunion, bacchanalian celebration and day at the parade with the kids.

“It’s a counterpoint (to the rigorous academic environment),” said Lance Haynes, a professor of speech and media studies and the parade board’s faculty adviser. “It keeps everything in balance.”