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What is the St. Pat's Celebration?

St. Pat's has been the can't-miss celebration of Rolla, MO every year since 1908.  Each year, it gets better and better which is why every St. Pat's is the "Best Ever."  For more information on the history of St. Pats, CLICK HERE.

Each Fall semester, the student-run St. Pat's Board holds 150 and 100 "DAZE" events in anticipation of the coming celebration. These are attended by students and locals alike at the Grotto, a basement bar owned and operated by Mike Greenway, a Board alumnus, and home to the largest shamrock in Rolla, MO. The Grotto, a favorite among students of Missouri S&T, is situated just 500 feet from Norwood Hall's historic steps and serves as the new terminus of the parade. It is also famous for its Street Painter's shot - so named for the traditional painting of the street by returning Board alumni each year. It shares the paint's thick, milky green appearance and is a refreshment of choice for the alumni having finished the messy work of painting Pine street.

St. Pats Reps and Members of Other Organizations Prepare to Sing the Daze Song at Noon

When students return to school after a much needed Winter Break, they immediately start counting the "Daze" to St. Pats (though some students start counting as early as the end to the previous year's St. Pats).  Once 50 Daze hits, the S&T community will kick-off the St. Pat's season with a trivia night where members of different fraternities, sororities, organizations, and other communities will form teams to earn points in the annual St. Pat's Competition.  Following this day, the campus will hear the members of the Board singing "the Daze Song" on the puck throughout the day more and more as the "Daze" count gets lower and lower.  Often times they will come join in and help the Board Reps sing.  Every Friday during this season is known as "Green Friday."  On this day of the week, members of the competing organizations will gather in the area on campus in front of the library where the Board sells their yearly merchandise that all the students will be wearing.  As the students begin feeling the Spring warmth return to Rolla more and more each week, the members of the competing organizations will collectively sing a parody of a song they wrote that adheres to that week's theme and then play fun yard games such as washers and the sweatshirt toss.  Organizations can also start building up their points early by volunteering or giving blood in our Annual February Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Registry.  Students are also eligible to receive points by donating cans to our canned food drive that takes place in the same location.

Before the Celebration can officially start, the young and strong students among Missouri S&T's organizations must defend the campus from the impending Snake Invasion! Their weapons of choice: large shillelaghs wielded by the men, and smaller walking sticks wielded by the women. These wooden Irish bludgeons are carefully and personally designed by each defender and serve to let comrades know each other's origins and to strike fear into the cold hearts of the plastic snakes.
1980s Snake Invasion

The "10 DAZE" long celebration kicks off with the selection of St. Pat and his highest Court members, comprised of the senior representatives of the St. Pat's Board. These students worked hard as junior and baby reps in the two celebrations prior to organize all the events for the campus and local communities. Now, they reap the benefits, serving as local celebrities and spreading the festivities by making appearances with officials, at businesses around town, and at parties and social gatherings of all kinds. They perform in three of the longest-held traditional ceremonies, the Court Arrival on Wednesday, Coronation on Friday, and Parade on Saturday closest to St. Patrick's Day.

During the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday following the formation of St. Pat's Court, students from all over campus participate in Follies, a festive time of jokes, poems, games, and presenting the coolest, oldest St. Pat's swag from years past in the hopes of impressing St. Pat himself. On Wednesday, as per tradition, students gather at the band shell near the site of the historic train station where George Menefee gathered the first group of brave knights to march on to campus. They await the arrival of this year's St. Pat and his Court, who will join the local and school officials on the stage to present the proclamation from the governor of Missouri, ratifying the celebration and marking the last day of classes before students at Missouri S&T take the next two days off to devote to celebrating in the name of St. Patrick, the patron saint of engineers!
2006 Follies
1982 St. Pats Cudgel Winner
Thursday and Friday finds the students, faculty, and arriving faculty at the Gonzo and Games carnival. After returning from a morning of hard volunteer work at Gonzo Gives Back, students kick back and let loose enjoying all the carnival amenities. These include performances at the two day talent show, beer garden, carnival games, and the Cudgel Gallery. Organizations toil for up to two years digging, stripping, drying, carving, painting, and sealing eight-foot-tall tree trunks that dwarf the shillelaghs and are judged intently by St. Pat and his Court. Winning cudgels are prized possessions that are kept for decades by their proud owners.
Friday night, Honorary Knights and student Knights gather for the Knights Banquet preempting the Coronation. Honorary Knights are the celebration's greatest patrons and allies, and are composed of affluent alumni and local figures, avid faculty and staff. The celebration may be student organized, but it could not reach the height it has without the help and support of its staunchest allies. Student Knights are those picked by each participating student organization as a member of honor, given the duty to protect St. Pat and to pull his carriage in the upcoming parade. The guests depart from the dinner and, on a clear night, walk to the Coronation under the light of the Missouri S&T's Pyrotechnic class'  firework show!
After the guests are seated, the Coronation ceremony begins. Lance Haynes, the fourth adviser to the Board since its chartering in 1930, serves as a master of ceremonies, relaying the historical and cultural importance of what the audience is about to enjoy. As his time-honored monologue closes, the Court of St. Patrick processes to the stage to take their positions as the theater begins to melt away into the throne-room of St. Pat's. St. Pat sits upon his throne in front of a gigantic shamrock adorned with the letters M, S, and T, the year in the middle. To his right, the Parade Marshall: his left, last year's Queen of Love and Beauty. Soon, more join the stage, as music from the court ensemble drifts through the air. These are the hopeful Queen Candidates and their escorts, lovely ladies chosen by participating organizations as representatives on the highest court of the Missouri S&T student body. One of these ladies will be chosen tonight to replace last year's Queen and join St. Pat for this year's revelry. With skipping Pages, droning Heralds, stomping Guards, and one questionably talented Trumpeter, the Knights are knighted, and St. Pat declares the revelry officially begun.
2001 Coronation Ceremony
2005 Court Arrival Photo
Saturday's first light breaks onto a Rolla much greener than the day prior. Green people in green official St. Pat's BEST EVER sweatshirts drinking green drinks gather on the greened Pine Street for the parade. In Rolla, the Christmas parade is nice, but it's more an appetizer for the main event. People come in droves. On the Centennial celebration in 2008, it was estimated Rolla had up to 40,000 attendees. The town of a mere 19,000 was bursting at the seams. St. Pat and his Court, with the newly crowned Queen of Love and Beauty, lead the procession of over a hundred attractions atop his carriage, a bright green manure spreader. The parade lasts over two hours, and is followed by two free concerts one block from the route. Alumni treat themselves to an old favorite: Alex's Pizza. For most, a St. Pat's in Rolla can't be without a box of the square-cut, Greek-style delicacy. After the concerts, the student organizers finish cleanup and either celebrate or sleep until Monday morning. 
Few celebrations mirror the pride, tradition, and pageantry of Missouri S&T's St. Pat's BEST EVER. Every year students are put at the helm of this daunting task and challenged to not only see it through, but truly make it the BEST EVER. It's is a group of intense diligence, who build up the community around them, and live out the tradition that started 112 years ago. In the process, they make lifelong friends, learn skills they will carry with them through their careers, and join the elite group of mop slinging alumni who did just the same.