Raleigh's Brent Road Bash A Shadow Of Its Former Self
Posted August 26, 2001 4:13 a.m. EDT
Raleigh — The annual Brent Road party, North Carolina State's bash of the year, turned out to be a bust. DWI checkpoints and hundreds of police officers kept the party to a ghost of its former self. Officers arrested 42 people on minor drug and alcohol charges, but that is way down from years past.
Two years ago, attendance at the Brent Road Bash was in the thousands. Last year, a heavy police presence pushed it down to around 700. The Brent Road Bash used to be "the mother of all block parties," but it did not live up to its reputation this weekend. The streets were largely empty, and the party was confined to a few groups of students in their driveways. Most say the increased police presence is responsible.
"It's kind of ridiculous. They're going to eventually have it cracked down to where it's nothing for us," said N.C. State student Joseph Betthauser.
Hundreds of police officers were on duty, some manning license check points and other cruising the streets to keep an eye on the crowd.
Students say it is a waste of tax dollars. A few of them could not resist poking fun at the show of force with signs.
"They're just trying to flex their muscles. It's just a control-freak thing in the City Council. I guess no one wants to have a good time in Raleigh. They want to get their degrees, contribute to society, grow old and die," said N.C. State student David Pergerson.
Police and partiers can agree on one thing -- this is not the kind of blowout bash that earned Brent Road its reputation.
"There's no comparison. It's very quiet out here, and a very safe environment. I think we accomplished what we set out to do," said Capt. Don Weingarten of the Raleigh Police Department.
Students who did not want to chug beer on Brent Road had another alternative on N.C. State's campus that featured food and music.
The second annual alcohol-free Crossroads party featured free pizza and ice cream for students.
"It's especially good for freshmen to come out and meet new people and see people they've met in the dorms and see them outside of the dorms and classrooms," said N.C. State freshman Andrew George.
"We're hopeful that the students can have just as much fun as they used to have on Brent Road by staying on campus," said N.C. State Chancellor Marye Anne Fox.
The party had plenty of games and simulators. Far Too Jones, Naughty By Nature and other bands also played.