Whether it is dollar drinks at Cobblestone Ale House, the annual Red and White dance or making sure to be first in line on Local Day at the Zorn Dining Commons, traditions are important to Keene State College seniors as their last year as undergraduate students continues.

However, there is one tradition that is going through a particular change this year – the annual Senior Fall Pub Crawl. As KSC seniors plan for this occasion, event organizers go to great lengths to make the pub crawl as safe and community-friendly as possible.

Event organizer and senior Olivia DiLeo said she hopes the typically alcohol-centered event will show KSC’s commitment to the community of Keene.

“When we started planning the event we knew that it could get kind of crazy, so we wanted to give back to the community somehow,” DiLeo said.

DiLeo continued, “This year, we raised money and donated one-thousand dollars each to Community Kitchen [food pantry] and Samaritans [suicide prevention].”

The event, which will be held on November 14 from noon until 6 p.m., will promote KSC’s involvement in the community. DiLeo said that she and fellow event organizer Julie Flynn got the idea to donate money to local causes from a manager at Score’s Bar & Grill, who said that the community is still shaken up from the riots of last year’s Pumpkin Festival

“He told us he was a senior who graduated from Keene too and he didn’t want to take the pub crawl away from us because it’s a tradition, but he said after everything at Pumpkin Festival last year he’s talked to a lot of people in the community who are still mad at the college, so we just wanted to make this better,” DiLeo said.

DiLeo continued, “Of course nothing can take away what happened at Pumpkin Festival, but we’re doing our best to show support for this city because we love it just as much as the other residents.”

DiLeo said she knows college students can get out of hand, but hopes the donations will allow the general public of Keene to have positive mindset about the college again.

The event’s other organizer Julie Flynn said that, in addition to raising money for the donations, students are also paying for police escort on the day of the event in case participants get out of hand.

“We raised enough money to buy the police escort ourselves. Typically and in all the past years this has come out of local tax-payers’ money and that’s just not fair to them. This is our day as seniors; we should be the ones paying for the police to keep us safe,” Flynn said.

Flynn continued, “It’s all student-run too, which is cool. We organized the event ourselves, took care of all the money and police, talked to all the bars, graphic design majors put together the shirts and we got them made at Bulldog Design, which is another local business we want to support.”

According to Flynn, seniors will be taking on Penuche’s Ale House, Lab n’ Lager Food & Spirits, Kilkenny Pub, Scores Bar & Grill and The Pour House and have about an hour at each bar.

“There are four hundred and eighty students participating and that’s divided across six teams – white, red, orange, yellow, green and blue,” DiLeo said.

Paige Priskie, who is graduating in December, said she can’t wait for the event.

“I’m so excited, especially because I won’t be able to participate in the spring [pub crawl]. It’s going to be a lot of fun and it’s the perfect chance to get all the seniors together,” Priskie said.

Priskie’s friend, senior Remi Chiovaro, added, “I can’t wait to share beers with all my friends at every bar on Main Street. Even though Keene is a small school, we don’t always have the chance to get together with everyone. It’s going to be a good day.”

Senior Michael McBournie said he is also excited for the event, but understands how crucial it is for seniors to reflect positive values onto the Keene community.

“This pub crawl is a great opportunity for the upperclassman student body to have a fun day and kind of reflect on all our years at Keene together,” McBournie said.

McBournie continued, “At the same time, this provides a chance for the student body, specifically seniors, to rebuild our relationship with the town’s community. That’s what’s important to us and that’s what we want people to know.”

Stephanie McCann can be contacted at smccann@kscequinox.com

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