Originally published March 31, 2008 at 10:01a.m., updated March 31, 2008 at 11:31a.m.

Crews finish Downtown Lawrence cleanup following basketball bash


It looked like a frat house exploded.

That's one way to describe the mess of beer cups, beer cans, beer bottles and anything else beer related you can think of on Massachusetts Street following Kansas University's basketball victory Sunday evening that sent the team to the Final Four.

Curt Talken, a parks and recreation employee who was finishing clean-up efforts this morning, had an even simpler description.

"It looked like a real good party," Talken said.

By 9:30 a.m. today, though, it just looked like Massachusetts Streets again. A crew of about 15 employees from the city's parks and recreation and the public works departments started cleaning about 7:30 a.m.

Crews - who fought strong morning winds - filled up an entire trash truck with debris, and employed the use of a street sweeper to get the area tidied up. Talken said most of the debris was contained to the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street. Parks and Recreation leaders said the only lasting damage appeared to be that vegetation was trampled in most planters around the 10th and Massachusetts intersection.

Ernie Shaw, acting director for parks and recreation, said that means many of the flower bulbs likely won't bloom this year. But he said there are other spring flowers that can be planted to help replace the lost color.

"But we definitely won't be doing that until after next weekend," Shaw said, alluding to possibly an even larger celebration if the Jayhawks have success in the Final Four.

Shaw said he also was pleased that it appeared revelers did a good job of staying out of trees, which in past celebrations have been damaged. He said his only concern was the amount of glass, including glass pitchers from nearby bars, that were found on the streets.

"The plastic cups and stuff we can deal with, but the glass is really the worst to clean up," Shaw said.


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