Ozark Life Flashback 1988: St. Patrick's Day Cudgel Carry in Rolla

Published: Mar. 14, 2018 at 2:24 PM CDT
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Legend has it that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland wielding a large stick called shillelaghs or cudgels.

The world famous engineering school at Missouri University of Science and Technology was previously known as University of Missouri - Rolla, and, before that, Rolla School of Mines. Students and alumni celebrate an unusual tradition dating back to 1908 when the engineering school was established. St. Patrick became the patron saint of engineers so it's only natural that they celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a big way.

Besides parades and parties, students spend weeks carving, painting and decorating tree trunks and roots weighing a hundred pounds or more. They then have a contest to see how far one person can carry these cudgels.