AMHERST — A heavy police presence at the site where last year’s Blarney Blowout raucous celebrations took place stopped the formation of any large gatherings Saturday afternoon.
Officers blocked the entrances to the Puffton Village and Townhouse apartment complexes where rowdy students gathered in last year’s blowout, which resulted in 55 arrests by Amherst police, according to a report released in September by former Boston police commissioner Edward F. Davis.
The report had been commissioned by the University of Massachusetts Amherst chancellor in response to last year’s destructive Blarney Blowout.
But on Saturday, just six arrests were made, said Town Manager John Musante.
“The police seemed to do a good job making sure nothing got out of control,” said Ron Levgoren, a freshman communications major. “I was a little disappointed that nothing really happened at my first Blarney Blowout, but everyone is in a good mood even though there’s no huge gathering.”
Officers from 14 police departments, as part of a Western Massachusetts Mutual Aid agreement, helped in the effort to quell the pre-St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
About 5,000 students were attending a free concert at the Mullins Center on Saturday afternoon, according to Captain of Administration Jennifer Gunderson of the Amherst Police Department. The concert was scheduled to prevent any sort of large off-campus student gathering that could disrupt the peace in town.
The lack of a large off-campus gathering left students waiting for more from their Blarney weekend.
“We’ve just been sort of hanging out waiting for something to do and the only thing left is the bars opening,” said Courtney Lee, a senior majoring in public health.
Earlier this week, six bars in Amherst center agreed to delay opening until 4 p.m. to avoid drawing large crowds of students into town center.