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Penn State-area bars to go non-alcoholic

Feb. 19, 2013 at 4:22 PM

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A group in State College, Pa., home of Penn State, has arranged for a number of local bars to go non-alcoholic on local holiday State Patty's Day, it said.

The Partnership: Campus and Community United Against Dangerous Drinking, a group of university and local leaders, will pay 34 taverns in the town a $5,000 subsidy each to offset lost revenue on Saturday's informal holiday to provide an "alcohol-free zone" offering only food and non-alcoholic beverages, a statement from the organization said.

State Patty's Day is a popular, student-founded alternative to St. Patrick's Day, which often coincides with the school's spring break, the (State College, Pa.) Centre Daily Times reported Tuesday.

"This could be a turning point in the conversation on high-risk drinking on this particular weekend, said Courtney Lennertz, Partnership member and president of the University Park Undergraduate Association. "We damage our reputation with a weekend of large-scale binge drinking."

The funding for the taverns comes from parking fees collected during the previous State Patty's Day events, said Damon Sims, Penn State's vice president for student affairs.