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Cali kiD Dubz, a rapper, performs on the lawn of 90 Mill St. during Mill Fest. The annual fest gave musicians a chance to promote themselves while performing for crowds of students. (Sam Owens | Picture Editor)

Street fest, Moms Weekend overlap could have positive effects

During this year’s Mill Fest, Ohio University moms might be among the partiers playing beer pong on porches.

This spring, OU’s Moms Weekend, which will take place April 5 to 7, will collide with Mill Fest, slated for April 6.

Though it might cause some fest-goers to tweak their plans, having parents in town during the event could be beneficial from a safety standpoint, said Tom Pyle, chief of the Athens Police Department.

In the past three years, a total of 279 arrests were made during Mill Fest and a total of 55 arrests were made during Mom’s Weekend, according APD records.

“We commonly will have domestic violence situations on both Moms and Dads weekends,” Pyle said. “It usually involves the parents acting in a manner the kids find unacceptable, maybe partying too much.”

However, Mill Fest and Moms Weekend are typically civilized compared to other big weekends, Pyle said. He added that the department hasn’t arrested many parents in the past.

With multiple parents present at Mill Fest, partiers might feel more inclined to control their behavior, and moms could provide extra oversight, Pyle said.

“I think fests themselves are potential problems,” Pyle said. “But the fact that (Mill Fest) is on Mom’s Weekend … would probably lend itself to being more controlled, more polite and courteous.”

Interim Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones agreed, saying the atmosphere has the potential to be calmer this time around.

“I don’t think the average mom will say, ‘Yes, let’s go to Mill Fest,’” Jones said. “I think that people are going to clean and get ready for their moms, and a lot of time, they want to cook dinner and do things like that. Even if they’re still planning as a house to participate in the festivities, I would think that it would probably be a little bit different if moms are there.”

She added that since there will be so many other activities taking place on campus that weekend, students and moms might decide to skip out on the fest altogether.

“Even though in our minds, the fests seem like a big thing, there are always so many other things going on during the weekend for people to do if they want,” Jones said. “Nobody else does family weekends like we do.”

Chelsea Knapp, a sophomore studying biology, said having her mom in town will keep her away from the fest.

“I think it was poor planning,” Knapp said. “I want to go to (Mill Fest), but I wouldn’t bring my mom. Some people can drink with their parents, but (my mom and I) aren’t like that.”

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