Unofficial "Fred Fest" raises concerns in Fredonia

Posted at 6:14 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 19:30:02-04

In 2015, SUNY Fredonia canceled a popular end-of-school-year party called "Fred Fest."  The college worried that Fred Fest was promoting a binge-drinking culture that also resulted in a large number of complaints from Fredonia residents.

However, Fred Fest has refused to die.  

Thousands of students, along with outside friends, are again expected to crowd Village of Fredonia streets for the several-day event which is happening this weekend. 

Last year, police stepped up enforcement of the unofficial Fred Fest and 67 people were arrested - most were not SUNY Fredonia students but came from outside the area.

Fredonia Police are once again warning students that there will be an increased police presence from several police agencies (including SUNY Fredonia Police) and those arrested should be prepared to spend time in jail until a judge can do an arraignment or the arrested student can post bail.

In addition, police plan to post information about the arrests on their web and Facebook pages.

For students hoping for future employment, Fredonia Police Chief Bradley Meyers cautions they should consider consequences before engaging in extreme drinking or behavior.

It is also costing taxpayers over $3,000 for portable toilets, trash barrels and overtime.  Mayor Athanasia Landis said it is not money the village wants to spend, but money that it is spending to hopefully cut down on liter and people urinating on residents' properties.  Otherwise, Fred Fest leaves behind a huge mess for city workers to clean up.

While most people we talked with said they don't want to see the tradition end, many are hoping it can be kept under control.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly went to Fredonia to talk with people about their thoughts on unofficial Fred Fest 2018.