Culture shock

From tear gas to charred couches, there's one Village that never sleeps


Click here to read an interactive story about the culture of Cedar Village

Unassuming by day, a party by night. At least, that’s how the legend goes.

Established in 1968, Cedar Village was built as a way to bring students together. A housing complex close to campus that offered students a neighborhood of their own sounded great on paper. Other rentals from other companies popped up around it to cash in on the idea.

No one could have known then what exactly they’d created.

On an average school day, or even an average weekend, Cedar Village is just another apartment complex. Students go to class. They hang out with their friends. Typical college life.

But that’s not why everyone knows the name.

The chaos that sometimes ensues there after major sports events has been called every definition in the book. Revelries, celebrations, melees, disturbances, riots — the name changes, but the concept stays the same.

MSU plays a big game, and people gather. Win or lose, furniture and anything else disposable is dragged into the street.

It’s no secret what happens next, because Cedar Village gatherings have become synonymous with March Madness and destruction. Wide-eyed freshmen flock there to bear witness — they’ve heard stories about this from parents and older siblings. And in 20-some years, they will want to tell their kids, too.

Those who live nearby can’t escape the stigma. Some wear their neighborhood’s history as a badge of honor. Others try to distance themselves, but if they live nearby, they can count themselves as members.

Because Cedar Village isn’t just an apartment complex.

It’s a brand. It’s a tradition.

It’s a culture.

Staff writer Geoff Preston contributed to this report.

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