UMass Amherst quieter than normal for this year's Blarney Blowou - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

UMass Amherst quieter than normal for this year's Blarney Blowout

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

An Amherst tradition with a rowdy reputation, Blarney Blowout took over the downtown area with a sea of green clad college co-eds.

Emergency officials were prepared to handle any situations that come their way.

“We’re a tight knit community, everyone likes to bond around events like this,” UMass junior, Jake Mackey said.

Emergency officials are keeping a close ear to the scanner as Blarney Blowout takes over downtown Amherst.

 “If we do go off the cliff we’re ready for that,” Chief Tim Nelson said.

It’s an Amherst tradition that carries a reputation for rowdy crowds and wild behavior.

 “It’s gotten pretty rowdy in the past,” Mackey said. “But I think everyone has done a good job at staying responsible.”

In 2014, the Blarney Blowout turned to chaos. Police wearing riot gear made 55 arrests and used pepper balls to tame unruly crowds.

“You plan for the worst, but you hope for the best,” Nelson said.

Amherst police told Western Mass News that 53 student parties were registered with the university.

They say the weekend has remained relatively calm.

“We staff up,” Nelson said. “We have all five of our ambulance staffed. And then we’ll bring in two mutual aid ambulances.”

UMass offered an alternative to the Blarney Blowout.

Big seen, 21 Savage and Goldlink performed at the Mullins Center at noon on Saturday.

“I think that everyone has been good lately about doing it responsibly, and being able to have a good time without causing any disruptions for the community or the campus,” Tom Hubbard, a junior at UMass, said.

The university reports that one person has been arrested for assault and battery on a police officer.

Four students have been taken to the hospital for alcohol-related illness.

One person was taken to the hospital for symptoms of hypothermia.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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