Albany officials prepare for St. Patrick's Day parade safety - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Albany officials prepare for St. Patrick's Day parade safety

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ALBANY, NY - Albany officials are taking precautions to ensure safety during this year's Saint Patrick's Day parade.

Monday marks the one year anniversary of the kegs and eggs melee which occurred in Albany last year. 

On the day of the 2011 Saint Patrick's Day parade, hundreds of area college students got out of control and caused thousands of dollars in damage to the Pine Hills neighborhood in Albany. A mob mentality took over the neighborhood as students turned violent. Dozens of college students destroyed property and even tried to flip over a car. Six people were arrested following the event.

Police have since increased their presence in the area and all sides have become proactive to ensure this year's Saint Patrick's Day festivities are different.

Local colleges and universities have taken steps to prevent similar outbursts. They have also moved spring break to coincide with the Saint Patrick's Day parade, hoping fewer students will be around. UAlbany also cancelled Fountain Day, an annual event at the school to welcome spring.

Over the last year students confirm police have increased patrols in Pine Hills and say they're specifically cracking down on underage drinking.

The city has also announced changes to this year's parade route. This year it will avoid North Pearl Street. Albany Common Council Member Anton Konev who represents Pine Hills says he's been working with the police department to ensure last year's mayhem isn't repeated.

Konev says, "This year the city police department is going to be out even earlier, alert, watching the social networks as well as trying to prevent the parties from happening in the first place."

Typically the annual St. Patrick's Day parade happens the weekend before the holiday. However since the holiday falls on a Saturday this year, it's being held on the actual day.

All sides are hoping for a fun and peaceful celebration this year.

The parade starts at 2 p.m. this Saturday, March 17. The new parade route begins at Quail Street and Central Avenue, travels east onto Washington Avenue and continues on State Street to Pearl Street.

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