Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

'Darty' in the USA: A look at Tuscaloosa's day drinking culture


Who says parties are only for Friday nights? 

Cajun crawfish, bottomless mimosas and sunny weather only begin to characterize spring Saturdays in Tuscaloosa. On top of weekend drink specials and creole seasoning, afternoon “darties” have sprung up in many of Tuscaloosa’s fraternities.

A “darty,” coined from the combination of “day” and “party,” is often hosted by various fraternities on campus providing live music, crawfish and a social atmosphere. 

“In the spring there aren’t any football games on Saturdays so darties are a great way to fill that void,” said William Majchszak, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering and Sigma Phi Epsilon’s VP of programming. “People are excited about the nice weather again and want to spend time outside. What better way to do this than throwing a party?”

Groups of students often hop from fraternity to fraternity depending on who’s throwing the darties. Girls often drop the evening wedges and skirts and wear something more comfortable like jerseys or T-shirts. The darty atmosphere also offers the best of evening socializing in a daytime atmosphere. 

“I feel like darties are more about who you’re with rather than where you’re going,” said Kallen Sebastian, a sophomore majoring in public relations. “There’s also a larger variety of people looking to make new friends, so it’s not like the guys at the fraternities have dates or everyone is with a set group of people like it usually is when you go out at night.”

Outside of the darty atmosphere, many local businesses offer afternoon drink specials for students over 21 to keep up with rising demand for drinks on weekend afternoons.

“On Saturdays we have people lining up for our bottomless mimosas,” said Robert Bishop, the general manager at Steamers on the Strip. “I’ve been here for 15 years and the crowd just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”

Steamers on the Strip is also serves up their famous crawfish, and provides many cases for fraternities that throw crawfish boils at their weekend darties.

“Crawfish is just a southern thing, we’ve been doing it forever,” Bishop said. “I catered to four fraternities last weekend, and I have three to do this weekend.”

Majchszak has taken notice of the business’s crawfish and often utilizes their catering services for darties.

“Just like any other traditions at Alabama, crawfish boils have been popular in the southeast for a long time,” Majchszak said. “They’re easy, fun, relatively cheap, taste good and people just genuinely enjoy them.”

Steamers on the Strip has had parties of 25+ on the weekends who sit on the patio and enjoy each other’s company for hours. Other businesses like Innisfree and Buffalo Phil’s have stepped up in competition and therefore offer similar drink specials on both Saturdays and Sundays to students 21+ looking for a discounted way to enjoy the company of their friends after a busy week of classes.

Though there’s no clear answer as to why students feel compelled to day drink on the weekends, it seems as though as long as the sun is shining and there’s a place to go for good crawfish or discounted drinks, the spring season will continue to bring students out to socialize at all hours of the day after a week of classes.

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