While it was cold and snowing on St. Patrick’s Day in Windsor, that didn’t stop residents from going out, drinking a few alcoholic beverages, and generally having a good time. While Windsor Police were kept busy throughout the day and night, patrons didn’t get unruly as some might have expected.
“In terms of St. Patrick’s Day in particular, it wasn’t really an eventful evening for the Windsor Police. What was key to that was our ability to communicate with the public, to let them know that we were ramping up our patrols and that our presence would be made in the downtown area, liquor license establishments, as well as the outdoor tented festivities,” explained Sgt. D’Asti of the Windsor Police.
“We did have an incident at a downtown bar that was a sexual assault allegation that happened overnight [and] our officers are currently investigating that matter and it’s ongoing investigation,” said D’Asti.
Windsor Police issued several liquor license act tickets and arrested a handful of unruly patrons, but on the whole, “it was relatively smooth sailing. Our officers were busy obviously with the high volume of people [throughout the city] and the people who were attending these St. Patrick’s Day festivities, but all in all, for the amount of people that were partaking and the people who were involved in the festivities, it was relatively uneventful,” said D’Asti.
“I’m not saying that it was a quiet night for us – we were dispatched to disturbances and fights, but it definitely was for the most part, a successful evening,” explained D’Asti.
Windsor Police had set up RIDE patrols throughout the city and over the course of the night only one impaired driver was arrested.
“Several people were obviously stopped and questioned in terms of the RIDE program and the officers made one arrest,” said D’Asti. “We hope as a police agency that people are getting the message that when they’re consuming alcohol they shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle [and that] there are alternative ways to get home, whether it be transit, a cab, or a designated driver,”
In the west end, several bars got together to host a New Orleans type outdoor event, complete with the ability to carry your liquor from one establishment to another, which saw Sandwich St. shut down for several blocks.
“It was awesome,” explained Dominion House owner Chris Mickle. “We wrist-banded everybody as they came into the bars so they could take their beverages from bar to bar. We went through 7000 wristbands yesterday … so about 7000 people hopped through Sandwich town during the day,”
The amount of patrons exceeded both Mickle’s and other bar owners expectations.
“I was expecting just a casual pub crawl, all day having people go from bar to bar, and just have them explore Sandwich Town and the west end. But it turned out to be every single bar at capacity and lined up by noon,” said Mickle.
Mickle said he’d partner with other bars in the area to do a similar event in the future, as he is not concerned about competition from his neighbouring establishments.
“The west end works together [and] we all have common goals, which is to increase our business and increase the foot traffic in Sandwich Town,” he explained. “We got together for the first time in a long time for this event and it went seamlessly … everybody pitched in, did their part and it really worked really well. A lot of new people got to explore Sandwich Town and see local businesses that exist that they probably haven’t seen before.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.