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Students celebrate first Green Beer Day with outdoor drinking area, inaugural Ginger Run

Brick Street was packed just after 7 a.m., less than two hours after opening for the day.
Brick Street was packed just after 7 a.m., less than two hours after opening for the day.

This is a developing story that will be updated with new information throughout the day.

Few students at Miami University have experienced what the tradition of Green Beer Day was like before the pandemic, but that’s not stopping them from getting involved in the celebration this year.

For the first time, Oxford’s Designated Outdoor Drinking Area (DORA) is open for the event. In past years, the city closed the DORA while Miami’s semesters were in session, but Oxford City Council opted to keep it open this year even when students are in town.

Check back with The Miami Student throughout the day for updates on how the day is progressing.

1 a.m.

Few businesses were open at 1 a.m., but that didn’t stop scattered groups of students dressed in green from going Uptown. Two organizations, Phi Kappa Psi and Engineers Without Borders, were selling grilled cheese at the Phi Delt gates.

Sam Muhleman, a junior majoring in organizational leadership, was helping out with several other members of his fraternity. He said they had already profited and would donate their profits to the Boys and Girls Club.

“We’re just selling grilled cheese with our butter that’s been dyed green,” Muhleman said. “ … We sold a good amount. We made our money back.”

Erin Mullany, a first-year finance major, said she hadn’t heard of Green Beer Day until three weeks ago. That didn’t stop her from helping out with Engineers Without Borders on the other side of the Phi Delt Gates.

On Green Beer Day 2023, students gathered at the Phi Delt Gates for the first-ever "Ginger Run." Sean Scott and Claudia Erne and Luke Macy

At 1:45 a.m., students began to gather around the Phi Delt Gates for the inaugural “Ginger Run,” set to take place at 2 a.m. More than 100 students eventually gathered, most to watch rather than participate. A flyer for the event specified that wigs were allowed.

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At 1:55 a.m., the spectators lined up along both sides of Slant Walk headed toward the center of campus. After a countdown at 2 a.m., the gathered redheads darted off to cheers from the crowd.

Reporting by Editor-In-Chief Sean Scott and Managing Editor Luke Macy

2 a.m.

Photo by Teddy Johnson | The Miami Student
People gather at the Bagel and Deli Shop, one of the only places open at 2 a.m.

While most of Uptown Oxford reset for the upcoming day, with the exception of the Bagel and Deli Shop, the fraternities continued the Green Beer Day festivities. Music blared and colorful lights flashed into the street as students walked from fraternity to fraternity to celebrate. Some of the lines to get into the parties even went out of the fraternity doors.  

Sean Moriarty, a junior sports leadership and management major, said he celebrates Green Beer Day and St. Patrick’s Day because of his family’s Irish heritage. 

“My family has been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for years and years,” Moriarty said. “My grandfather, Michael Moriarity was the youngest president ever, at 29 years old, to be the president of the Shamrock Club in Columbus. So it’s kind of fallen through my family.”

Reporting by Co-Humor Editor Teddy Johnson and Contributing Writer Kasey Turman.

5 a.m.

Photo by Alice Momany | The Miami Student
Brick Street opened its doors to a line of students at 5:30 a.m.

In Ohio, bars can legally start selling alcohol at 5:30 a.m., and doors opened at Brick Street Bar to do just that.

The 21+ line at Brick wrapped around the building for Sunrise at Brick. Efrain Perez, a senior computer science major, hopped in line a little after 5:30 a.m. after watching movies and getting Bagel and Deli with his friends.

“We’re just going to stay [at Brick] and watch the sunrise,” Perez said.

The group had been standing in line for about 20 minutes but had a long wait ahead of them before entering.

Nicole, a senior marketing major who requested to be identified by first name only, was also in line for Sunrise at Brick with her friends. Although they were ready to celebrate at the bars Uptown, Nicole’s day started hours before.

“We had a pregame and then went to the frats, and now we’re here,” Nicole said.

And Nicole’s day wasn’t stopping after Brick.

“[We’ll] probably nap and then go back out to probably frats or bars,” Nicole said.

Despite the nonstop activities, Nicole said she is excited to celebrate because it’s her first Green Beer Day. Last year, Nicole wasn’t 21 years old, and her sophomore year was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Alice Momany | The Miami Student
Bagel & Deli orders green bagels in bulk to celebrate the local event.

Gary Franks, the co-owner of Bagel and Deli, said he expects more people to participate in this year’s Green Beer Day because of the pandemic’s impact the past two years.

“It’s been so long since we’ve had a real non-COVID Green Beer Day,” Franks said. “I think a lot of people don’t really know what a real Green Beer Day is. With so many years of it gone, who knows what people will make of it?”

Bagel and Deli opened Wednesday, March 15, at 8 a.m and will remain open until 2:30 a.m. Friday, March 17. The bagel shop is known for its green bagels on Green Beer Day, which they started selling at 4 a.m. on Thursday, March 16. After an hour, there were only about 20 bags of green bagels left. Frank said this year, he has noticed people out Uptown earlier than previous years.

“We were packed really early,” Frank said. “I came in at 3 a.m., and [the shop] was full, and people were like that for hours, so everybody’s out really early today.”

Reporting by Senior Campus & Community Editor Alice Momany

7 a.m. 

As the dark skies began to lighten over Oxford, some students started heading home after a long night — others were just starting to head out.

One group of students gathered around a table on the Brick Street patio to watch the sun rise. Ashley Wilson, a senior, said they’d been going strong since midnight. She and her friends planned to go home and nap once it was light out before coming back.

Stephanie Vaream, a senior psychology major, waited in line at Brick. She and her boyfriend had just begun their Green Beer Day festivities. 

“We’re [planning to] stay here all day until like 11, go back home and sleep, and then darty,” Vaream said.

Vaream said she’s glad COVID-19 has subsided so she can enjoy GBD as a senior. 

“With COVID, you couldn’t have parties with more than like 10 people,” Vaream said. “Now it’s packed, and it doesn’t matter.” 

Vaream said her favorite part about GBD is staying up for more than 24 hours with her friends, which she says brings them closer together and makes fun memories.

While students may enjoy the long hours of GBD, employees feel less enthused. Brandon Crawford-West, a bouncer at The Woods bar, said he doesn’t like having to wake up early to work on GBD.

“It’s not really that much different from any other day except for the hours,” Crawford-West said. “It’s honestly less busy than a typical weekend because a lot of people [go to] house parties.”

Reporting by Campus & Community Editor Reagan Rude

10 a.m.

As the morning continued and classes started, the crowds of people Uptown died down. Lieutenant Lara Fening with the Oxford Police Department (OPD) said this year’s GBD has been more calm than previous years. She thinks the university has played a large role in this.

“This is my 29th Green Beer Day, so it’s just evolved, and whether it’s because Miami instituted some protocols to encourage kids to go to class or with professors having exams or requiring attendance,that may have helped,” Fening said.

Despite the relative calm, Fening said OPD is preparing for the afternoon, when students are done with classes. Fening started her shift this morning at 6 a.m. and will not be done until 7 p.m.

“You have to be ready, just in case for reason you didn’t anticipate,” Fening said.

Although OPD is responding to a less chaotic GBD uptown, the Miami University Police Department (MUPD) has been busy with situations on campus. MUPD reported a theft of a white Honda Civic in an email to students just after 10:30 a.m. The theft occurred between 1:30 and 2 this morning, and the car has been located.

The suspect was wearing a black hoodie and black sweatpants. It is unclear at this time if the theft had any connection to Green Beer Day.

Reporting by Senior Campus & Community Editor Alice Momany

11 a.m.

Even local employees have noticed a calmer GBD. Ravi Reddye, an employee at the U Shop, has worked many GBDs and said he has noticed business getting slower each year. The U Shop is a liquor store Uptown, and despite a busy crowd at 6 a.m. when the shop opened, Reddye said it has been pretty slow compared to previous years.

“Every year, [business] slows down with students,” Reddye said. “But it is not within our controls.”

As the day hit early-afternoon, many people, like Fiona Kanis, a senior biomedical engineering major, and Madeline McKinney, a graduate student studying biomedical engineering, left the bars and grabbed a bite to eat at local restaurants.

Kanis and McKinney started their day at 5 a.m. by making breakfast for their friends. They went to Side Bar at 5:30 a.m. and were debating whether to get green bagels at Bagel and Deli or green spaghetti at Skyline Chili.

Although this is Kanis’s first GBD, McKinney has celebrated the past three years. She also noticed a calmer crowd this year.

“It seems less heinous, but maybe that’s because I’m not an undergrad, and I’m not trying to do it while also avoiding cops,” McKinney said.

As the two friends walked away, they headed in the direction of Bagel and Deli for green bagels.

Reporting by Senior Campus & Community Editor Alice Momany

12 p.m.

Business stayed slow at noon, but some scattered students were still out and about.

Emily Ireland, a junior software engineering major, brought along her friend Jenna from the University of Cincinnati, who identified herself by first name only. The pair planned to visit a couple fraternities throughout the day.

“We’re on the hunt for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” Jenna said. “We’re on the hunt today.”

Alex Buller, an assistant property manager for the Miami Preserve apartments, was also Uptown. She said the apartment staff goes out every year to help students stay safe during the festivities.

“We’re just out handing survival packs out to students with water and snacks,” Buller said.

Zaine, a junior sports leadership and management major who identified himself by first name only, went to class this morning before heading to Brick Street. 

“I was like, ‘OK, I’ve got a quiz, let’s roll,’” Zaine said. “And then [I] got a text, ‘Let’s get drunk,’ and here I am.”

Zaine said he and his friends were invited to several fraternities later today. A couple of his friends went out last night, and one of them chimed in that they don’t recommend the fraternity parties.

Reporting by Asst. Campus & Community Editor Chloe McKinney

3 p.m.

Despite a lull in the early afternoon, employees at many businesses said the day had been a success.

Ryleigh Houston, a sophomore strategic communication major, started her shift at Bagel & Deli at 8 a.m. The store had been selling green bagels all day, but Houston says they sold out around 1 p.m.

“I’m a little tired, but it’s been really fun,” Houston said. “We were handing out beads to everyone.”

Rex Hunter, an employee at The U Shop, said the day is an important tradition for Miami students. The store gets in on the celebration by selling as many green-themed items as possible.

Hunter has business plans for tomorrow, as well.

“After the Green Beer Day ends, everybody is gonna have to deal with the Friday scaries,” Hunter said. “That’s the time I make sure they get hydrated and whatnot in the aftermath of it.”

Megan Fanok, a mechanical engineering senior, was bartending at 1868, a bar Uptown, since early in the morning. Even though the day was long, Fanok said it was going well.

“I think my alarm was set for 3:45 this morning, and I haven’t really gone back to my house since then,” Fanok said. “So good, but long.”

Part of the process for Fanok and other bartenders on GBD is to use spray bottles with green dye to color the green beer — something Fanok said she enjoys.

Halle Gordon, a former Miami student, was visiting Oxford with some of her friends for GBD. Gordon said that although the day was going slowly, the festivities were going well.

“I love the color green,” Gordon said. “I love that everyone’s getting behind the same cause.”

Gordon also shared what made the Oxford holiday so appealing to her.

“Tradition and good drinks,” Gordon said, “and beautiful weather before spring break.”

Reporting by Contributing Writer Kennedy Withers

5 p.m.

First-years Kole Johnson and Jay Hedding, accounting and physics majors respectively, were Uptown, but weren’t as interested in GBD activities.

“We’re looking to get some food,” Johnson said. “We’re going to [Buffalo Wild Wings] for buy one get one free and to watch March Madness.”

Even though Johnson and Hedding were going for basketball and wings, they still appreciated the GBD culture.

“I didn’t know that we, like, technically invented Green Beer Day,” Hedding said. “It’s pretty cool that we just have a whole college coming together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.”

Johnson and Hedding also hardly knew about the holiday.

“To be honest, I never really heard of it till this week,” Johnson said. “But I’m trying to celebrate with green.”

Around 6:30 p.m., light rain started to come down over Oxford.

Reporting by Staff Writer Riley Crabtree

7 p.m.

Campus was mostly empty by 7 p.m.

From Slant Walk, screams could be heard echoing all the way from Skipper’s. In Armstrong Student Center, almost no one could be found.

Miami Activities and Late Night Programming’s Spring-O event had just ended and students were either back in their dorms, Uptown or gone for break.Some students chose not to go Uptown because they still had school work to do.

Meghan Kriz, a first-year nursing major, was busy with her classes.

“I was at Pearson and my labs, hating my life,” Kriz said. “I was studying, and I actually had an exam today … I don’t even remember what I did — I was just bored out of my mind.”

Emily Schmitz, a junior integrated social studies education major, also avoided going Uptown, opting to focus on school instead.

“I’ve been taking an exam and chilling out,” Schmitz said. “I haven't been wanting to drink because I have an exam, so it's just been relaxing and rainy.”

Reporting by Contributing Writer Anna Reier

8 p.m.

Photo by Luke Macy | The Miami Student
Brick Street's sign lights up the wet and nearly empty Oxford as GBD turns to night, coming to a close.

As the sun was setting, many of the people in Uptown earlier in the day were clearing out. 

MUPD Officer Michael Jarvi was working during the night. However, he didn’t see as many problems as he would expect for GBD.

“I’ve been here almost eight years now, and it seems like probably within the last four maybe five plus years, just every year there’s less and less,” Jarvi said. “I don’t know if it’s like people are not risking getting in trouble around before spring break, and they can just go and have fun on spring break. I don’t know what the change is.”

The rain was starting to clear up, but most people had moved inside. Uptown was bright, between the fluorescent lights at Brick and the puddles reflecting the light from cars and streetlights.

Some of the people who were still out were struggling to walk and slurring their words or clutching their coats to protect themselves from the rainy air.

Photo by Luke Macy | The Miami Student
Most of the patrons of Skipper's have moved inside to stay dry.

Jenna James, a junior zoology major, was still out Uptown Thursday night. James was with her friends, triplets, who were celebrating their 21st birthday.

James was ready for what the night had in store.

“It's so quiet right now, but I feel like it's because a lot of people were out earlier and they're going to come out later,” James said.

Even though many people were no longer Uptown at the moment, James and her friends were planning to stay out later.

“We're probably going to be out for a couple more hours, and then we'll be up really late,” James said. “So probably going to bed like 5 a.m.”

Reporting by Managing Editor Luke Macy, Staff Writer Taylor Stumbaugh and Contributing Writer Kasey Turman