More people, fewer large-scale fires on State Street

By Rachel Aretakis and Luke Glaser

Thousands of fans stormed State Street Monday night after UK won the NCAA national championship. Photo by Scott Hannigan | Staff

Their eyes were glued to the TV until the last seconds counted down. As the buzzer sounded, they jumped from their seats and sprinted to the street.

It finally was over. It was finally time for them to completely breathe a sigh of relief. UK fans could finally claim the title of national champions.

State Street became alive with dancing, crying and jumping fans Monday night, after UK defeated University of Kansas in New Orleans.

“I’m from California,” Chris Johnson, a business administration junior, said. “This is insane.”

The celebration mirrored that to Saturday night, but with more people and fewer flipped cars. State Street was flooded with supporters, all cheering C-A-T-S in unison.

The anticipation had been building up since Saturday evening.

“We’ve been waiting 15 years for this,” Brendan Kessler, a english junior, said. “UK fans are the best in the world.”

Students shot fireworks into the sky and lit fires with T-shirts and beer boxes, all of which were quickly put out by police.

People started pregaming early Monday, as fans were tailgating and drinking at restaurants and bars.

Throughout the day on Monday, Lexington police blocked off State Street and towed cars parked there.

Students could move their cars to Commonwealth Stadium K lots on Monday afternoon.

Lexington and UK police said earlier in the day that they were working to identify those who started fires on State Street on Saturday, when multiple couches were burned, cars were flipped, and even one car was set on fire.

The large fires and upended cars were noticeably absent from Monday’s celebrations. Students instead opted to gather en masse with cheers, fireworks and plenty of high-fives.

Bryce Sanders, a fifth grader from Taylor Mill Elementary in Covington, Ky., came down with his parents to see the UK celebrations.

“I think it’s fun,” said the 11-year-old with a unibrow painted on his forehead. “Best time I’ve ever had.”

Fans continued to conglomerate on State Street and showed no signs of dispersing as of 1 a.m. The crowd was estimated to be abut 5,000 people, according to officers on the scene.

The party was predicted to last “all night,” Ashley Court, a communication disorders junior, said. “Bourbon Street doesn’t have anything on State Street.”

Arrests were made on State St., University Ave. and Conn Terrace, many pertaining to arson, according to several eyewitnesses.

A $25 reward is being offered to those who can identify people involved in criminal activity.

Most, though, flooded State Street simply for the chance to celebrate. Fans waited 15 years, and accordingly made the celebration worthwhile.

“All night” said Kessler, when asked about the duration of the celebrations. “‘Til the break of dawn.”

Jesica says:

All the UK people enjoy that night so much! I think this very good achievement to win NCAA championship. Thanks for this impression.
http://www.moverstucsonaz.com/

Harry says:

Matt
The Tide has not won anything in recent years except the Football title in New Orleana and there the cops let the Tide rowdies sleep in the gutters of Bourbon Streee till the street cleaning crew came through the next morning and hosed them off. The only two drunks lefts back in Tuscoollossa were both arested when they left the BBQ shack.
For historical perspective read chapter 11 of Generational Youth to discover in the 1950s, Tide coeds stored their undies in locked trunks to protect them from panty raids.
When is the Tide gonna get a Basketball championship?

Matt says:

Roll Tide. We arent scumbags and know how to behave.

Harry says:

Anon
Doubt if you graduated from UK with four letter response like that but if you were there in the lates 1950 -1960 days of panty raids–fire hoses at Holmes Hall and Keenleand Hall and photographers were standard procedure to stop college kids from rebellion.
Peace

anon says:

@Harry

you mad bro?

No one should turn fire hoses on some college kids for celebrating a championship win, get the fuck out of here.

Harry says:

Tipping and burning cars, burning trash and couches, throwing beer bottles, gunfire on South Limestone and the drunken and criminal behaviour is not acceptable for for the University of Kentucky. The police and fire department and UK administrators too were too timid in their response. A mere $25 to rat on protesters is no incentive, the parents of these young people send more than that a day to pay for their cell phone bills and drinks. Anyway, UK has picture IDS of all students, match the pictures to they and send the offenders home . Better yet turn high pressure fire hose on the those who do not leave when ordered. That will sober them up and put out the fires at the same time.
I am proud of the NCAA champs and am ashamed of the offending students and timid UK and Lexington Fayette officials to give the media ammunition to focus on riots in the streets of Lexington and not our great atheletes.

magoo says:

@ trippin…. what riot?

s.smith says:

Can not wait til next season. Two in a row baby !!! GO CATS !!!!!!!!!!

Trippin says:

Let’s see if I understand this. The planet is in a climate crisis, we’re being robbed blind by the fat cats, the wacky religious right is trying to implement sharia law, armed vigilantes are prowling neighborhoods looking for black people to shoot, we’re being spied on, we are still spending lives and money on wars we cannot win, and you, in all your wisdom, riot over a freaking basketball game?

You should me more ashamed of yourselves than you will ever know. You might have won a basketball championship, but the way I see it, you’re nothing but a bunch of self-centered losers.