This weekend has been full of parades, parties, and cheap green beer, as Ontarians celebrate the Irish holiday. However, as the St. Partick's Day weekend starts to come to a close, it looks like the biggest party in Ontario is just getting started. Thousands of students in Waterloo have gathered on Ezra Avenue for a massive St. Partick's Day party that is currently shutting down parts of the city.
Waterloo Regional Police have released a statement through Twitter, warning citizens of the road closures that are being put in place for Ezra Ave. and also Bricker St, near King Street, as thousands of students are beginning to gather together in what appears to be a massive street party.
In their tweet, Waterloo Police state that they are encouraging those who are currently partying throughout Waterloo to move off the streets and go to a residence or a public building, however, with the sheer volume of people gathering into the streets, it has become difficult for police to control the situation. Ambulances have arrived on scene as the party is expected to continue throughout the night.
Police have announced that they are handing out a variety of fines for those who are partying in that area, but the crowds still remain, and the party is still continuing.
Ezra Ave. has been closed due to large crowds.— Waterloo Regional Police (@WRPSToday) March 17, 2019
We continue to encourage those celebrating #StPatricksDay to do so at a residence or in a licensed establishment - not on the street.
Several fines being issued for a variety of offences. Please be smart, safe & respectful. pic.twitter.com/4SbqbsasyS
According to CBC News this St. Partick's Day party also occurred last year and over 22,000 students attended the party. Throughout the day, Waterloo Police charged 619 people and 52 partiers were hospitalized. Waterloo Police are expecting a similar outcome this year as well.
Wilfrid Laurier University also released a statement earlier this weekend, warning students to not gather at unsanctioned street parties as it could lead to fines.
Be smart, stay safe and be respectful this St. Patrick’s Day! For everyone’s safety, #Laurier actively discourages unsanctioned street gatherings. #StayGolden and check out police approach, safety tips and fines at https://t.co/POYP4amVg1 #SPD2019 @WRPSToday @WLUSCS @citywaterloo pic.twitter.com/khIyDLcinD— Wilfrid Laurier University (@Laurier) March 15, 2019
Yet, despite the warnings, the party is still continuing and students from the city as well as students who have travelled to Waterloo to witness this massive party first hand, continue to celebrate the Irish holiday throughout the streets.
Some Waterloo residents have taken to Twitter to show the massive crowds of people that have gathered to the party. Some even warn that traffic is crawling throughout the city due to the massive volume of pedestrians.
Police have shared their own photos from Ezra Avenue as well.
Responding to several incidents where rocks and bottles are being thrown within the crowd gathered in the Ezra Avenue area. Multiple injuries received by people falling and slipping. Please show respect to those around you. pic.twitter.com/10c8pxXEsD— Waterloo Regional Police (@WRPSToday) March 17, 2019
Waterloo Police are also holding more briefing meetings about how they will handle St. Patricks's Day, including setting up ride programs throughout the city.
No matter where you are heading this St. Partick's Day, stay safe Ontarians!