Republished from the Missoulian |Originally Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:50 am 

The Mansfield Library at the University of Montana had good reason to take note of the recent documentary screening and other events to celebrate – or for some, commemorate – the 30-year anniversary of the last Aber Day Kegger. Just as some of the proceeds of bygone Aber Day Keggers went to benefit the library, so too will sales of the documentary help raise money for university programs.

But unlike in years past, this time the library will be giving something back: its official thanks.

Why now, after all these years? “Because it never happened before,” said Bonnie Allen, dean of the Mansfield Library.

The reason the library was never formally able to convey its thanks to the university students and others who organized the bash over the course of eight years in the 1970s had to do with the controversial nature of the kegger. It was, after all, a kegger – a big party held in an open field where people listened to live music and drank too much. Not the sort of thing you’d usually associate with a library, and not the sort of thing the university could really promote.

And so, even though the Aber Day Kegger organizers raised tens of thousands of dollars for the library, the library did not go out of its way to publicly acknowledge their act of civic generosity.

Now, those Aber Day organizers will finally get the library’s official recognition. A plaque bearing a thank-you is ready and waiting in Allen’s office, and will soon be displayed in the library foyer.

Given the distance of three decades and the fact that, by some miracle, nobody was seriously hurt during the bacchanal that was the Aber Day Keggers, the plaque is an appropriate tribute – and the timing, perfect.

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