Polar Bear Party draws thousands to Carbondale - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Polar Bear Party draws thousands to Carbondale

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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The Polar Bear Party in Carbondale is into it's 11th year. Each year Carbondale police officers say there are more problems.

The party started originally at the Pinch Penny Pub in Carbondale, and now there are three other bars in downtown Carbondale joining in on the fun.

Callahan's, Saluki Bar and Stix all take part as well. On Saturday morning at 10 a.m. the bar doors opened to eager patrons.

"This is out first time down here. We came down from University of Illinois. I'm from up in Bloomington," said Jeff Dekoker. "We're visiting our buddy down here, he goes to SIU's School of Law. We heard it was a great time, we heard that they were trying to sit the record for the most Corona's drank. So we came out to see what it's all about."

Within an hour after the bar doors opening Carbondale police were busy writing tickets for people with open containers in public, and under age consumption of alcohol.

"I think it's a little obnoxious this year because most people are of age," said Morgan Shahagian of Carbondale. "There are going to be those few underage people, but it's for fun, it's college and it's what we do."

Officers are trying to keep everyone safe during the party. They've called in extra officers to help patrol the streets and bars in downtown Carbondale.

Memorial Hospital of Carbondale has called in extra staff to help with any added emergencies that may happen during the Polar Bear Party.

Southern Illinois University's Chancellor Rita Cheng warned SIU students in an email earlier in the week that the University does not condone this type of an event, and that anyone who is a student and gets in trouble off campus can still face disciplinary action from the university

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