We all know that Parade Day is the craziest, most fun day of the Binghamton University school year. Thousands of people will pour into State Street, one of your friends may get arrested and you will probably remember very little. But before any of that, you need to be prepared. Here is everything you need to know about Parade Day 2014.
1. Weather — The forecast for Saturday afternoon is supposed to be a high of 34 and a low of about 16 degrees. It’s going to be partly cloudy with only a 30 percent chance of precipitation. Like every year, it’s going to be cold, which brings us to our next topic…
2. Attire — Due to the inclement weather, make sure your layering game is on point this Saturday. You can easily showcase your highly original “Kiss Me I’m Jewish,” or other variation on the custom T-shirt over a sweatshirt, long-sleeve shirt, or even Under Armour. Alcohol doesn’t count as layers. Dress warm.
3. Transportation — Unless you live Downtown, you will have to fight the hard fight to find either a bus or a cab. Make sure you reserve a cab with your trusted go-to driver for you and your friends before the actual day, preferably Friday afternoon or even earlier. oFF Campus College Transport (OCCT) will be running on its usual Saturday schedule, with three buses running every hour to the Downtown Center. But those will be frightening. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the Leroy Southside bus will be rerouted to get closer to the parade, and the same for the Westside bus beginning at noon. Both buses’ detour routes will continue until 4 p.m.
4. Timing — The best part about Parade Day is that it truly is an all-day affair. This means you’re going to want to get up early, as in 8 or 9 a.m. Give yourself time to put on as much green as possible, eat a hefty and filling breakfast, do your hair and makeup and then head over to a pre-game, or host one if you’re feeling up to it. While the parade begins at 1:30 p.m., the bars will get going as early as noon, with other parties starting even earlier. By around 4 or 5 p.m., the bars may start to simmer down slightly, at which point you should definitely find a bed and sleep in it. After a quick recharge, make sure to eat again before heading out for round two.
5. Bars — According to Tom & Marty’s owner Larry Shea, last year the Tom & Marty’s staff used snow shovels to pick up cups, cans and vomit, and filled up two dumpsters with all of their trash.
“It’s unreal,” Shea said. “I mean it’s fun and a great time, but it’s exhausting. It’s a drunken shit show. I have no idea how you guys do it.”
This year, Shea believes that Parade Day will be crazier than ever. To prepare, Tom & Marty’s is enlisting a staff of 30, including 14 bartenders.
“By the end of the night, the staff will be ready to drop dead,” Shea said.
This Saturday, the madness will begin to ensue at Tom & Marty’s at 10 a.m., and they’ll feature specials including aluminum bottles, Irish car bombs and jolly rancher shots. JT’s and Uncle Tony’s will also be opening at 10 a.m., and will be expecting thousands upon thousands of guests throughout the day. For those who want a slightly earlier start, Venue is opening its doors at 9 a.m., and will be having $4.50 Guinness pints, $5 Jameson and $4 Tullamore Dew. Also, from 12 to 5 p.m., Irish musician Donal O’Shaughnessy will be playing there. If you’re craving The Rat, they’ll be opening at noon. While covers should be expected at night, none of these bars will be charging during the day.
6. Food — Firstly, for your friends’ sake, it’s important that you eat before making your way to State Street. While Downtown, two words sum up the food to be experienced: Binghamton Hots. The perfect blend of local and wildly unhealthy, Hots will be open on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. If the line is too long or you find yourself craving something else, hit up drunchie favorites like Subway, China One, Rolando’s Diner, Nirchi’s and, if you absolutely must, Pasquale’s.
With these details at hand, let’s keep up our reputation and make this Parade Day the most ridiculously wild one yet. Syracuse may have their basketball, Tulane may have Mardi Gras and Cornell may have Slope Day, but Parade Day is ours and it’s the best of them all.