Meet the People Willing to Stand in Line to Drink at 7 a.m.

At 6:30 a.m., downtown Denver is still dark. The sun won’t rise for another 40 minutes, but a line of people already stretches around the block, waiting to get into Lodo’s Bar & Grill for this year's Channel 93.3's Keggs & Eggs. Nearly every other person has a beer in hand, the rest have it on their breath, and cops walk up and down the line, politely confiscating the open containers, which are quickly replaced when the cops move on. The street is strewn with abandoned lawn chairs, beer cozies, and leprechaun hats, which one industrious woman picks around as she fills a trash bag with empty cans. Just after 7:00, the sound of bagpipes signal the beginning of the event, the line begins chanting “keggs & eggs” and the long day of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day begins.

This year’s tenth annual Keggs & Eggs filled Lodo to capacity, once again proving that Denver is full of people crazy enough to get super drunk and listen to rock music at 7:00 a.m. The event featured the Dirty heads, 3OH!3, Brick & Mortar, and One Flew West, and the crowd was excited to see them. So excited, that people actually began lining up on Thursday morning, nearly 24 hours early. They spent all night on the street drinking, listening to music and waiting to go inside and spend all day doing more drinking and listening to music. Who are these devoted partiers, crazy enough to beat the sun to the bar? Let us introduce you. They are:
1. 21-Year-Olds: Somewhere in the middle of the line was Trista, newly 21 and excited to finally be going to Keggs & Eggs. She had wanted to go to the event for years—so badly that she requested work off three months ago. Trista was just one of a group of new drinker with eyes full of wonder at the idea of all day drunkenness. You could pick them out easily—they were the ones already teetering on the sidewalk from that deadly combination of intoxication and sleep deprivation. “I hope I can stay awake,” Trista says with a yawn. “I’ve already been up for 24 hours.”

2. Your coworkers: At least half the line couldn’t be named for this article because they told their boss they were sick or (real excuse) attending a grandparent’s funeral. Among those skipping work was a nursing home attendant, a warehouse manager, an elementary school teacher, and a lot of service industry workers. “I have to be awake at 6:00 a.m. for work anyways,” an absent office assistant said. “I’d rather do it with a drink.”
3. Friendship seekers: Michael turned 28 while he was standing in line. He wanted to come celebrate his birthday at Keggs & Eggs, where it’s easy, he says, to make new friends. He likes waiting in line, hanging out with new people through the night and watching the bands with them when they get inside. While Michael is talking about his birthday plans, one of his new friends from the night of waiting hands him a nice morning spliff, which he puffs a few times before passing it on to another new friend ahead of him. The spliff keeps moving up the line through the mouths of ten different people who didn’t know each other 12 hours before but are now sharing saliva. You know what that is? Friendship.

4. Colorado Natives: Many of the party goers cited their Colorado spirit as their reason for attending Kegs & Eggs. Some had Colorado paraphernalia mixed in with their sparkly green. Others were just proudly showing off their blue spruce tattoos. It’s a Colorado tradition, they said, a day for Colorado natives to come together and celebrate Colorado bands like 3OH!3. After all, that is what the bagpipe music, leprechaun hats and all that green is about: celebrating Colorado.
5. Old men re-living their wild youths: Inside Lodo, a handful of men watch from the back corner, sipping their drinks and avoiding the impending mosh pit. A couple try to bribe security to let them into the envied VIP area with seats. They're there to play hooky, drink all day and not answer any questions. They’re in their late 40s, 50s, maybe early 60s. It’s hard to say because none of them will actually provide their age. They just want to know how old you think they look. 

6. Green Beer Groupies: We don’t know what to say—this is actually a thing. Yes, there is still a full bar. No, nobody has to drink green beer. They want to. Why? Because it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, it’s 7:00 a.m. and afternoon hangovers have never tasted so good. 

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Courtney Harrell writes for Westword and University of Colorado Denver, telling stories of people and the things they do.
Contact: Courtney Harrell