WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published May 04, 2013, 10:42 PM

Thousands celebrate Springfest in Grand Forks

The annual Springfest event took place at University Park in Grand Forks today. The colder weather and lighter crowds brought some positive changes to the largest unofficial gathering for UND students.

Springfest...It's an end of the school year tradition for thousands of UND students.

Jack Wilcox/UND Student: "We're just about to graduate and it's our last hoorah here. We're just trying to have a lot of fun, with all my friends, before we go into the real world."

Ryan Schnorbach/UND Student: "This is the place to be this time of year."

But this year, numbers were a little down.

Mike Ferguson/Grand Forks Police: "Right now the weather doesn't seem to be cooperating, so the crowd is pretty light."

Ryan: "It's kind of lacking today. Last year it was a little bit more hype I feel like."

While the official Springfest is at University Park, most of the partying happens in neighborhoods around campus.

Matt Winjum/Springfest Sponsor: "Those house parties are going to take place today. You can't stop that, it's going to happen."

Jack: "We're having a good time here, but safe, we're keeping it safe.

Ryan: I'm trying to make sure that no one gets in trouble though today."

Getting an alcohol related citation during Springfest will cost you.

Mike: "Probably the most common one is alcohol in the park without a permit. That's $301."

But with lighter crowds and increased enforcement, citations were down this year.

Mike: "We've got a significant staff on. We've got both plain clothes and uniformed patrol."

The owner of Rhombus Guys Pizza, which sponsors Springfest, says the event has a bad reputation from previous years, but he's hoping to change that.

Matt: "I would just encourage people who have never been to Springfest to come down here and check it out. If you look around there's nothing here that would scare you away."

Winjum says he plans to continue sponsoring Springfest and hopes to make it more welcoming for all ages.

Last year, more than 100 alcohol related citations were issued. No official count yet, but officers say they expect that number to be down this year.