What to know before stepping on State Street

March Madness is coming to a peak with the upcoming Sweet 16 and Elite Eight basketball games this Thursday through Sunday, as well as the Final Four and NCAA Men’s Championship the following weekend.

The annual post-game stints on State Street are a UK tradition, where couches and t-shirts have been burned and crowds have gathered for hours in past years. Students and Lexington Police had tips to offer for students who plan to enter the fray in 2015.

  1. Wear appropriate shoes:

Lexington Police Public Information Officer Sherelle Roberts advised students to keep their feet safe amid the abundance of broken glass on State Street.

“A lot of young ladies wear open-toed shoes and flip flops … and get some really nasty cuts,” Roberts said. “If we could just get everyone to wear (proper) shoes, that would cut down on a lot of emergency room visits.”

  1. Heads up:

Make sure to watch out for flying objects that could potentially hurt you or someone else. Last year’s celebrations involved burning t-shirts and beverage containters, and then throwing them into the air.

  1. Take photos and video:

Most of the cops and firemen are willing to take pictures with people in the crowd, but remember their first priority is safety and crowd control. Taking photos and videos is fun, but keep in mind that the Internet is forever.

  1. Buddy system:

Undecided freshman Michelle Spaits, who has never experienced State Street, worried about there being “too many people there.” Getting lost in the crowd is a definite possibility. Try not to get separated from your friends in all the chaos, and keep your cell phone on.

  1. Spelling counts:

“I remember everyone making a mad sprint towards State (Street) to celebrate and there were numerous C-A-T-S chants up and down the street,” accounting sophomore James Childress said. Be prepared to show your spirit.

  1. Don’t anger the cops:

The police are there to keep us safe and maintain order. “Have fun, but do it in a safe way,” Childress said. “There are always police on State Street and you don’t want to get caught doing something stupid.” Don’t be the one who hurts a fellow student by burning things or throwing bottles.

  1. Make sure to be respectful of the authorities and stay responsible:

“Expect the unexpected,” Childress said. “You don’t know what is going to happen and that is part of the fun in going to State. People will go from tearing down a stop sign one minute to burning a couch the next. You never really know what is going to happen.”

You might have heard crazy stories or are worried about the crowds and cops, but make it down to State Street one of these weekends — it is an experience that you will not want to miss out on.