Party on the way out

On Saturday night, the Aberdeen Street party peaked at around 500 people. The event drew significantly fewer people than last year, which boasted between 1,500 and 2,500 people on the Student Ghetto street.

It’s a sign that the Aberdeen Street party is on its way out.

Without a home football game in late September, the traditional Fauxcoming party had no focal point to revolve around.

Revelers chose to assemble following last weekend’s football game — the last home game until Oct. 15. But having no obvious date for the party meant that it happened on a smaller scale.

Given the absence of a set date, there’s a possibility that residual street parties might occur, but last weekend’s poor showing suggests that no Aberdeen Street party this year will reach a serious size. With the last sanctioned Homecoming in 2008, few students can say they were present for a legitimate Homecoming. The tradition is fading from collective memory as fewer students remember the event each year.

If the trend continues, this could be the last year when students look for an Aberdeen Street party.

Damages and costs associated with the street party have been one of the biggest obstacles blocking the return of a University-sanctioned Homecoming. Its absence bodes well for the event’s future.

The cost of last year’s Fauxcoming was estimated at around $375,000 with Queen’s cutting a cheque to the city. Because the police presence on Sept. 17 was small, the accompanying cost was as well.

Kingston Police are to be applauded for their demeanor on Saturday. Officers were amicable and helpful, and didn’t antagonize the few revelers present. This meant little tension between people on the street and the police.

Choosing to employ officers in unmarked cars was another prudent choice that helped to keep Aberdeen Street quiet.

In previous years, officers marched down the blocked-off street, clad in riot gear, while mounted units trotted around the Ghetto. This resulted in more traffic, eager to see the spectacle and more confrontations between students and police.

Fauxcoming 2011 came and went without much of a sound, hopefully indicating the swan song of the infamous and destructive street party that has for so long put a strain on Town-Gown relations.

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