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North Beach "Discovery"

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We’ve all seen those Discovery Channel shows that document the mass mating rituals of animals, whereupon some species — be it turtles, penguins, seals, horseshoe crabs — briefly takes over the beach in a reproductive frenzy. So it was at North Beach on Saturday when thousands of scantily clad college students converged for a massive, rite-of-spring party.

You could hear the roar of the rock-concert-sized crowd well in advance of seeing it, but the scene itself — virtually every inch of the park was occupied by a young body — was an eye-popper. Stunned travelers on the bike path stopped and stared at the sea of people sunbathing, parading around in bikinis, playing frisbee, drinking beer and smoking pot. A few brave souls even ventured into the frigid water. Not a Burlington cop in sight.

Despite their alcohol-enhanced oblivion, you couldn’t hate these kids too much for seizing an impossibly warm day to celebrate the end of a long, cold winter. And, I guess, finals. Too bad no one has learned them to pick up their freakin’ trash.

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