Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 18, 2013

Traverse City police: Fewer St. Patrick's Day arrests


---- — TRAVERSE CITY — St. Patrick's Day weekend offered relatively good news for both police and local bar owners, who recorded fewer arrests and solid sales, respectively.

The Traverse City Police Department logged 115 incidents and made 17 arrests from Friday at 8 a.m. through Monday at 8 a.m.

That was a drop in activity from the 2012 holiday weekend, when police responded to 180 incidents and made 22 arrests.

"I'll attribute it to the day of the week, which helps it being on a Sunday, and also the weather," city police Capt. Brian Heffner said.

The holiday's occurrence on a Sunday prompted a weekend-long party at Kilkenny's Irish Public House. General managing partner Michael Lloyd said Kilkenny's and North Peak Brewing Company tapped into record sales over the weekend. Revelers who bellied up to the bar brought with them $110,000 to spend on suds and assorted other spirits and food.

Cold temperatures that fell far below last year's 65-degree day helped draw crowds inside, Lloyd said. He scheduled live entertainment to end at midnight Sunday, when he expected celebrations to fizzle.

"I thought people would want to get up the next morning, and it turned out people were here partying until 2," he said.

Heffner said ongoing training with bar owners and staff also contributed to a decline in incidents. Extra security at Kilkenny's kept the crowd tame.

"We stopped people from getting in the door when they’re that bad. We try to catch them before they get in our place. Sometimes on St. Patrick's Day weekend, that’s a tough chore," Lloyd said.

The weekend's arrests include five near downtown Traverse City for drunken driving, assault and battery, driving-related offenses, trespassing, transporting open alcohol and warrant arrests. Four additional city police officers patrolled the streets and sidewalks.

Scott Swanson, a general manager with TC Foods, which owns Bubba's and Fire Fly, didn't see as many "marathoners" at Friday's annual pub walk downtown. Fewer people made it to Fire Fly, the second-to-last stop on the itinerary.

"I would say the pub crawl itself was probably a little slower than last year, mainly due to the weather," he said. "Last year, part of the pub crawl was being outside."

Over the three-day span, Bubba's was "way up" on sales.

"It was an excellent weekend for us," Swanson said.