Paige Gittelman/Editorial Artist

For Binghamton University students, Parade Day is basically Christmas. It’s the one day that unites us and even gets us ranked on college party lists (it’s no Cortaca, but still). While Parade Day never really gets old, the ol’ lap around State Street can get a little repetitive. If you’re an upperclassman or just feeling a little original, here are some ways to mix up your Parade Day this year:

Actually watch the parade

Believe it or not, there is an actual parade during Parade Day. Seeing some of the parade is important, even if that only means catching the end of the Broome County Celtic Kazoo Band’s set. It’s a good opportunity to get chummy with locals who aren’t going into the bars. Despite all of our differences, community members and college students can bond over our shared love of drinking in public.

Pre-game to Irish music

You can turn up to more than Juicy J in preparation for this Parade Day. Put on some actual Irish songs because this is a St. Patrick’s day celebration, after all. Yes, you can include the song from “The Departed,” but today is also the day to get into the bagpipes station on Pandora. Stop twerking for a hot minute, and try the Riverdance.

Authentic Irish beverages

You know the drill: He drinks a whiskey drink, he drinks a vodka drink … This day is about getting sauced, but it’s also about supporting the homeland. Shut up about your light beer and order a Guinness. Embrace the deals on Irish drinks that each bar will have — you can switch back to vodka cranberries next weekend.

Start your day on the Westside

If you live Downtown, chances are your house is pretty much a free-for-all on Parade Day. If you don’t, take advantage of that. Just like your typical night out, we say Parade Day should start on the Westside and make its way to State Street. If you start your day at The Rat at 10 a.m., you’ll burn out by 12 p.m. Go to that frat you’ve never been to before; they’ll have pancakes. You won’t miss anything if you get to Court Street a little later, and you’ll probably catch a bit more of the parade.

Try some different bars

It’s broad daylight; nothing bad will happen to you if you happen to wander into Fitzies or the Belmar. Those are authentic Irish spots where the Jameson runs like wine. Not something you’re going to want to pass up on Saturday. Plus, the lines will be shorter than those on State Street, and when it’s 11 a.m., what’s the difference?

At the end of the day, Parade Day is fun no matter what you do. So batten down the hatches and brace yourselves for Binghamton’s biggest holiday.