Kailee Missler | firstname.lastname@example.org | Culture Staff Writer
Spending Halloween in Athens is well-known around the United States and is an iconic weekend for Ohio University students. The city’s population triples in size and in previous years, the block party has had nearly 30,000.
HallOUween attracts tourists from all around the state of Ohio.Court Street is completely shut down Saturday and two stages are set up on each end; one by the Valero gas station and another by the bookstores on Union Street. The live music and free-rein of Court Street truly adds to the experience of Halloween in Athens.
Not only are there an array of activities on Court Street, off-campus sites are filled with bustling parties with students dressed up in creative costumes. Last year, a group of men all dressed up as the iconic foodie and TV personality, Guy Fieri. Some people opt to create their own unique costumes, while others choose to purchase them. Regardless, Athens is the place to go all out with your costume.
“I think it’s incredible to see an entire city shut down for a celebration,” Prestin Minter, a sophomore studying journalism — strategic communications, said. “It’s one thing to have college students having fun but to have the whole city embrace the weirdness and the excitement of Halloween—with the parade, the block party, the décor—it’s really magical and awesome.”
If it’s your first HallOUween or you’ve been to the block party once or twice, FANGLE is here to help with a list of do’s and don’ts to have sun and stay safe.
Have fun with your costume
Don’t be the person that thinks they’re too cool to dress up. Everyone participates in the costume aspect of Halloween in Athens. Some people order a costume online, while others enjoy creating their own costumes. The past few years, the costumes have ranged between Absolute Vodka bottles to witches or clowns. The possibilities are limitless, though it’s strongly prohibited to dress as a cop. Many opt to go all-out with their costumes, so, if you’re eager to dress up, this is your time to shine.
Go to the block party
While there will be many outside parties going on off-campus, the block party is certainly worth a visit. The atmosphere that encompasses the block party is unreal, allowing the free rein of people celebrating the holiday.
The live music creates an exciting environment for people to dance or socialize during the event. People opting to go to the block party also have the benefit of easy access to toilets, as there are portable toilets located on Court Street. Food places also stay open later, so people are only a couple feet away from a late-night snack after a long day of festivities.
Have a backup plan
Cell phone service becomes highly unreliable during the Halloween weekend. Have a set spot to meet up with your friends or roommates in case you aren’t able to get ahold of them. Try to always stay with one person for safety purposes. Also, look out for your fellow Bobcats. If someone looks like they might need help, it’s okay to help them.
Know your rights
While your main concern shouldn’t be avoiding arrest, it’s still a concern. Always be respectful to the police, they’re only there to keep everyone safe. While approaching officers on horses, ask them if you can pet them, as they’re also considered an extension of the police force. Petting them without permission could result in arrest for assaulting an officer.
If a police officer approaches you, there’s no need to talk to them unless they are detaining you. You also don’t have to show them any form of ID. There are resourceson campus to talk to legal services to figure out what you legally can and can’t do.
Enjoy every minute of it!
There’s a reason why all of your friends have been asking you to come down for HallOUween Weekend. There’s a long-standing reputation for a reason. Go all out, dress up as your favorite character, go to parties you want, get drunk food Saturday night and lose your dignity dancing to live music on Court Street. This is your college town and you can enjoy it to the fullest. Don’t forget to have a full-recovery planned Sunday. You might need it.
Think you’re too cool to participate
You may think you’re too old to love Halloween, but that’s false. Halloween is more than trick-or-treating. It’s enjoying the night with your friends, appreciating nostalgic movies from your childhood like “The Nightmare Before Christmas” or “Hocus Pocus,” and pretending you’re someone else for the day.
Public urination is what people get arrested for most on Halloween. Court Street will have portable toilets, as will some bigger parties. Don’t be afraid to ask where the restroom is if you’re at a party, people understand the dangers of being arrested for public urination.
Go to the bars if you’re underage
While this one seems self-explanatory, some people enjoy pressing the boundaries with their fake ID’s. There will be undercovers at the bars all Halloween weekend, if not actual police in uniforms. Steer clear of an underage charge by sticking to parties and not letting yourself become belligerent. There are other options, it’s not worth risking arrest to party at the bars.
If you see someone that needs help, assist them or get someone who’s better equipped to help them. Bobcats look after Bobcats and safety is extremely important when there are tens of thousands of visitors in Athens over the course of a weekend.
HallOUween is what you make of it and you have the potential to make it an incredible memory from your college experience. Unleash your inner child, bask in your creativity, look out for one another and make this your best Halloween yet.
From everyone at FANGLE, Happy Halloween!