Students at Missouri University of Science and Technology are preparing for a snake invasion.


Students at Missouri University of Science and Technology are preparing for a snake invasion.

The traditional bashing of snakes with big sticks called shillelaghs is the first “event” of the annual St. Pat’s Celebration at Missouri S&T. Fortunately for the students (and the serpents), the snakes aren’t real (they’re plastic).

Missouri S&T started celebrating the legacy of St. Patrick near the beginning of the 20th century, when a group of Rolla students decided that he was the patron saint of engineers.

This will be the 102nd St. Pat’s celebration in Rolla. Among the many traditions that have survived over the years is the annual arrival of St. Pat in downtown Rolla aboard a manure spreader.

Currently, students are busy growing out beards, organizing Gonzo Games, and selecting Queen of Love and Beauty candidates.

The festivities lead up to a March 13 parade down Rolla’s Pine Street, which is always painted green to mark the occasion.

The schedule for the 102nd St. Pat’s celebration at Missouri S&T is as follows:

n Monday, March 1, through Wednesday, March 3: Snake Invasion (students club “snakes” on campus with large decorative sticks called shillelaghs).

n Monday, March 8: St. Pat’s Follies, noon at the Puck, a campus landmark located in front of Toomey Hall. (Monday’s Follies include “Greenest Person” and “Crazy Beard” contests.)

n Tuesday, March 9: St. Pat’s Follies, noon at the Puck. (Tuesday’s Follies include a leprechaun toss and a green Jello slurp.)

n Wednesday, March 10: At approximately 11:15 a.m., St. Pat, portrayed by a Missouri S&T student, will arrive in downtown Rolla aboard the traditional manure spreader. The procession will go from the south end of Pine Street to the band shell for St. Pat’s Follies at noon. (Wednesday’s Follies include a leprechaun look-a-like contest.)

n Thursday, March 11: Gonzo Games, 11 a.m. at S&T’s Intramural Recreation Center.

n Friday, March 12: More Gonzo Games, 11 a.m. at the Intramural Recreation Center; Wine and Cheese Social, 4:30 p.m. at the Newman Center on campus (alumni invited); Honorary Knights Banquet, 6 p.m. at the Havener Center on campus; Coronation and Knighting Ceremony (featuring pyrotechnics), 9 p.m. at Leach Theatre in Castleman Hall, 10th and Main streets.

n Saturday, March 13: Pine Street Painting, 6:30 a.m.; Pre-Parade Party, 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Alumni Lounge inside Castleman Hall; St. Pat’s Parade, 11 a.m.; Post-Parade Party, immediately following parade until 2 p.m., Alumni Patio outside Castleman Hall; Free St. Pat’s Concert (featuring EVE 6 and The Schwag), 2 p.m. at the band shell; St. Patrick’s Grand Ball, 6 p.m. at the Havener Center.