COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho --- After authorities in North Idaho expressed concern about parties involving drugs and fighting, partygoers reached out to KREM 2 News on Tuesday and said they wanted to explain what the parties were really like.
Authorities in North Idaho said the parties involve alcohol, drugs, and organized fights.
Wayne Reilly, who helped set up two of the recent parties in the woods, said they are trying to promote safe and responsible partying. Reilly said they do not condone drug use at the events.
"Our main standpoint is to meet new people,” said Reilly.
According to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, around 300 people partied in the woods of the Hayden Creek area a few weeks ago. Two teens were treated for alcohol intoxication.
Coeur d'Alene Schools and the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office said these parties involve plenty of drugs.
Reilly said they do not support drug use, but it is hard to control.
"We don't want people doing cocaine, heroin, meth, or anything like that. We see that, and we want to kick them out. We don't like those drugs either,” said Reilly.
Two weeks ago, Reilly helped get the word out about “Project X”, a party near the Harrison area.
Reilly said that event was going to draw in around 600 people from across the Inland Northwest. Authorities had a jump on the partygoers, though.
"There were at least 10-15 cops, they were ready for this party,” Reilly commented.
The party promoted what authorities referred to as "sanctioned fights."
Reilly said they have regulated fights, which prevents any more second hand fights from breaking out.
"We have a professional UFC fighter that refs. We don't want people getting hurt. But these people, they're always egging for a fight,” Reilly added.
Reilly said the reason they hold the events in the woods, is because they cannot have parties in the park or other public areas.
"We can't do it in the park. We'd get busted in three seconds," Reilly said. "It is a space [the woods] where we are not waking up people,” he added.
Reilly also said, they want the parties to be for people who are 18 and older.
This is still below the legal drinking age of 21.
Organizers assign friends as security members at the parties. They do this to help keep young people out.
To the older partygoers, Reilly said he wants to get to know people and have a good time.
"I love meeting new people because I want to be a positive influence on these people and get them going on their dreams and stuff like that,” Reilly said.