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John Weaber, left, and Jacob Grant, middle left, watch the crowd below play beer pong at Palmer Place Fest on March 27, 2015. This past weekend's warm weather motivated students to get into the fest spirit. 

Fest season comes early for Bobcats

After Ohio's defeat of Miami at the basketball game, students partied at Palmer Place and Uptown Athens.

Maybe it was the warm weather that drew hundreds of Ohio University students to Palmer Place Apartments and Court Street on Saturday, maybe it was Ohio’s men's basketball victory over Miami earlier or maybe it was something else entirely.

“It’s Saturday,” Leland Scherl, a freshman studying business, said. “It’s time to go out and have fun.”

Scherl said he saw a crowd of a couple hundred to a thousand people at Palmer Place, the most people he’d seen in one place since the Halloween Block Party. The party started at 2 p.m., he said, and didn’t let up until 8.

“It was lit,” he said.

Sophomore Evan Hamilton said when he arrived at Palmer Place, he heard a “thud thud thud” of people smashing bottles on the ground.

“As soon as we stepped in the courtyard, a bottle exploded on the ground in front of us,” Hamilton, who’s studying screenwriting and production, said.

Hamilton said he enjoyed observing the festivities.

“We weren’t really intoxicated enough to participate,” he said.

Daniel Sawyer, a senior studying chemistry, said he’d only heard about the party at Palmer Place that day, and that underclassmen had been passing around fliers. 

According to tweets, a party sponsored by Sech's alcoholic beverages advertised for a day-drinking party at the complex. 

“It was pretty wild,” he said. “They had a DJ and beer, and there were a couple hundred people.”

Sawyer said there wasn’t anything in particular that brought him out Saturday. Though he doesn’t follow basketball, he was glad Ohio beat Miami.

“If we ever lose to them, it’s a bad day,” he said.

Later on in uptown Athens, a couple misadventures interrupted the night.

An Athens County Emergency Medical Services ambulance and two Athens Police Department vehicles arrived at an apartment at 30 S Court St., and two officers ran in with a large bag, Jack Conrath-Sweeney, an eyewitness at the scene, said. EMS ran into the building about two minutes later with “an even bigger bag,” which he “didn’t know was possible,” Sweeney said.

Police and EMS helped a woman with a bandaged head into the ambulance a couple minutes later.

Sweeney, a sophomore at Athens High School, said the incident made him “entertained, worried and confused.”

“It’s a small speed bump in an otherwise smooth night,” he said.

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Haley Salyer, a freshman studying education, said someone’s pepper spray went off at The Pub while she was there at about 10 p.m., which was “pretty shitty.”

“Everyone started coughing,” she said. “I felt a burn in my throat, and the whole bar was coughing. One guy was sick.”

Salyer said the bar evacuated, leaving just the workers inside, mouths covered. A few minutes later, she said, people began going back in. Salyer went to get Jimmy John’s instead and left to play cards with her friends.


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