Local News

Annual Brent Road Bash In Raleigh Will Be Closely Watched By Police

Posted August 25, 2001 4:24 a.m. EDT

— If tradition holds true, Raleigh's Brent Road will be packed with partiers Saturday night.

The yearly party happens near the North Carolina State campus. Thousands of students have shown up in the past. Last year, though, police used a new nuisance ordinance to keep the party under control -- and they plan to do the same this year.

The Brent Road bash was known for years as the mother of all block parties. Two years ago, 7,000 students partied in the streets of this West Raleigh neighborhood, but 500 Raleigh police reigned in the back-to-school celebration last year. The nuisance ordinance made it easier for cops to crack down on parties, and N.C. State officials warned students by letter to expect the same this weekend.

"The numbers have definitely decreased. The fun we're allowed to have has dropped a little bit," said N.C. State student Jarod Foust.

Police are already showing their presence in anticipation of Saturday's bash. They put up no parking signs along Brent Road and Gorman Street on Friday. They are sticking with the same game plan that kept the crowd under control last year.

"If you don't have a place to go on Brent Road, don't plan on coming out and drinking on the sidewalk and the street, because then we're going to have a problem," said Capt. Don Weingarten of the Raleigh Police Department.

Police say they are not trying to ruin the party -- they just want to keep students safe. But students say it is overkill. They are afraid the party on Brent Road is over.

"It's definitely too many police. They're taking away a little bit of freedom. We all just want to party before school starts up again. One good last blast," said Foust.

A party thrown by N.C. State is also drawing people away from the Brent Road bash.

Last year, the university scheduled the "Crossroads" party on campus at the same time as the Brent Road bash. About 4,000 students showed up for games, music, and food at the alcohol-free event. Students say it is a safe alternative to the Brent Road party.

"We want students to be safe. The administration wants students to be safe. And it's an alternative. It's non-alcoholic, we're going to have safety. We want people to have a fun time," said student organizer James Reed.

The Crossroads party starts Saturday at noon on the N.C. State campus, and lasts until 2 a.m.