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Fire Marshals ensure Stephen's on Court isnt over capacity during the Athens Halloween Block Party.

Halloween in Athens: A timeline

Halloween 2018 came and went in the blink of an eye. 

Here are the updates throughout the day:

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ohio University students were on Court Street buying last minute costumes or getting something to eat before Halloween festivities began Saturday.

Jordan Price, a senior studying early childhood education, and Meredith Bates, a senior studying psychology, were out on Court Street heading to the festivities dressed as Lilo and Stitch. The two said they were most excited to see the costumes. 

Uptown Costumes, 12 S. Court St., was filled with students getting last minute costumes. Maria Santone’s parents own the store, and said she planned to spend the day working to help find people their perfect costume. Athens’ Halloween weekends have been apart of her life since she was five years old. 

“I’ve gone to the block party every year,” Santone said. 

Erin Nesbitt also works at the store and has enjoyed the Halloween festivities since 1992. 

“I usually don’t stay up past 11 or 12  because things just get too crazy and people get too drunk,” Nesbitt said. “I like seeing the creativity and the different elements, it’s just like it’s part of people’s creative psyche.” 

Nesbitt’s favorite part of the weekend is seeing the creative costumes, and throughout the years has seen many impressive costumes, including a realistic Gollum from Lord of the Rings and a couples’ gargoyle costume.

“The waves of pop culture that come through and the current events and some of them are just going to be prevalent that year and then you’re never gonna see that costume again,” Nesbitt said. “I think that as time has gone by its been really obvious that corporate America is taking a big chunk of creativity out of peoples costume making and people are wearing a lot more store bought costumes.”

On Mill Street, house parties were in full swing by noon with partygoers crowded onto porches and into backyards. At one point, a few people climbed onto a roof and were throwing drinks to those below. 

Colleen Howard, a senior studying journalism, was dressed as an alien from Toy Story. She said that after four Halloweens, her favorite part was spending time with her friends. 

“(During) freshman year, it’s new and exciting, and then you get to senior year and you just want to spend time with your friends,” said Howard. 

Sarah Newgarde, a senior studying journalism, said Halloween feels different this year. 

“I feel like it’s just calmer, mellower. Maybe because of the weather and because we don’t have two stages this year, I feel like it’s just not as big of a deal,” Newgarde said. 

1 p.m.-3 p.m.

While residents of Athens do participate in the Block Party, they see it more as an inconvenience, according to Ameena Huq, a senior and Athens resident.

“I think it just gets worse and worse, honestly. People just get more and more disrespectful,” Huq said. “A couple years ago, there was a guy with a gun who shot it on Court Street up in the air at like 2 a.m.” 

Many students who attended Halloween this year were unaware of the block party festivities happening.

Abby Craft, a junior at Ohio State University, said she’d never even heard that performances were a part of the celebration. 

“I did not know any of this was going on,” Craft said. 

Huq agrees that students are less interested in the stage performances than ever before, and are focused on drinking. 

“I don’t think people on Court Street care about the music scene,” Huq said. “ Nobody I know is playing.” 

During Ohio University’s annual Halloween celebration Hannah Zuckerman, dressed as a character from the movie Blades of Glory, said “We were only there for about 30 minutes before the party got busted.” 

At the same party Zuckerman attended, the home owners were screaming at people to leave the home from the window as the party was being busted by the cops. 

Junior Megan Janowicz decided to dress up as Poppy from the movie Trolls. “I’m obsessed with it so I watch it at least once a month.” 

3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Court Street was used as a walkway for people to get to Mill Street more than it was used as a place for celebration.  Because of the rain and the temperature, not many people came out to party.

Costumes included SpongeBob with a Krusty Krab pizza, the Teletubbies and the main characters from Friday Night Lights. Some of the most common costumes were the Incredibles, Bob Ross and prisoners in jumpsuits.

Nora Dovishaw, a senior studying health service administration, said her party had been shut down at about 4:00 p.m. She said it may not seem like there are a lot of parties because most of them took place behind houses.

“I know (the parties) are more staggered out more this year, which is good,” Dovishaw said. 

Alex Myer, a senior studying fine arts, said he saw that Lady B’s Fried Chicken, 19 S. Court St., was giving away free food to anyone in a chicken costume. 

Myer took advantage of this because of his costume.

Myer expected the weather to have an effect on turnout, but he saw a lot of people. 

“Not crazy yet, but that usually comes once it gets a little darker,” Myer said.

5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Starting at 6 p.m., Passion Works Studio’s seventh annual Honey for the Heart parade began on Court Street.

Delia Palmisano, a graduate student in the Scripps College of Communication, was taking photos of the parade. Palmisano is also taking an art class that allows for OU students to work with Passion Works.

“We’ve been partnering with Passion Works this semester and working on Honey for the Heart and a couple other things they have going on,” Palmisano said.

Palmisano said students can get involved with Passion Works by dropping by their open studio and helping building things for the parade. The preparation begins in October, leading up to Halloween weekend.

“It’s kind of counteracting the drinking and alcohol culture surrounding Halloween,” Palmisano said.

Around the same time, Mill street parties were being shut down by police. Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Mobile Field Unit arrived on Mill to provide more help to APD. By 6:30, most parties were shut down on Mill Street, leaving it empty for the most part.

Taya Hamilton, a junior studying special education, said Court Street was “pretty dead.” She said she was nervous for the block party tonight if nobody comes.

“It’s been tame compared to last year because of the rain.” Hamilton said. “I think the weather is putting a huge damper on things.”

Andrew Konya, a freshman studying video production, said almost every time there is an event at OU, the weather has been bad.

“We’re not going to let it hold us down or anything,” Konya said. “We’re gonna party through it and enjoy our time.”

Anne Underwood, a junior studying child and family studies, said parties this year have been shut down a lot earlier than years in the past. 

“Honestly, the cops are being really strict this year I feel like,” Underwood said. “I feel like they’ve been shutting things down a lot sooner.”

9 p.m.- 11 p.m.

This year saw a smaller number of people celebrating Halloween compared to the previous years because of the weather, Rick Sirois, director of code enforcement, said.

Adam Norby, a senior studying screenwriting and producing, said people were probably less likely to go out because of the poor weather.

“People are less inclined to show themselves as a result of the weather,” Norby said. “However, I think Athens is as populated as it has ever been.”

Ohio University Police Department Lt. Tim Ryan also said he is seeing a decrease in the number of people at Halloween over the years. 

“It’s been pretty calm,” Ryan, who is working his 14th Halloween for OUPD, said. “I haven’t seen too many major problems. Nothing really stands out.”

Sirois also said people are getting better at attending the annual block party as they have behaved in a decent way, so far. 

Amber Pyle, assistant chief of Athens County EMS, said seven people were treated so far, which is the same as last year. Pyle, however, thinks it’s still early and things could get worse as the night progresses. 

“I think the crowd being light is caused by the bad weather and so forth, so far we’ve had no major events,” Neal Dicken, an APD officer, said.

James Davidson, an Athens resident said there was a notable difference in reference to the crowd size and the weather, “It’s obviously a little colder.”

Despite the calm night, some guests had their share of crazy experiences.

“I was walking down Mill Street, and a cop walked up to me and gave me a citation for public intoxication. They put me in handcuffs, and I have to go to court on Wednesday,” Jillian Bowen an undecided freshman, said.

Some students from Ohio University celebrated with students from different schools, but they shared the same excitement in their first Athens Halloween experience.

“I liked the tons of parties, meeting new people, you know just having fun, dressing up” Laiken Salyers, a junior at Ohio University majoring in occupational therapy, said.

Another first-timer, Mckenzie Wines, an undecided sophomore at Shawnee State University, said her favorite part was “seeing my sister in handcuffs and seeing everyone dressed up.”

11 p.m.- 2 a.m.

Athens EMS Chief Rick Callebs said “this year it has been unusually quiet.” 

Banjah Miller, an OU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in coaching education, said ever since 2001 the party has been dying down.

As the streets cleared, a woman started to do yoga with a partner in the middle of Court Street in front of the Court Street Diner. The woman, Nichole Wood, a senior at the University of Cincinnati, said she started doing the yoga because she met some guy who knew the same yoga. 

At 12:32 a.m., police officers moved pedestrians to the sidewalks. 

At 12:47 a.m., the pedestrians on the street was the equivalent of a normal weekend crowd minus the longer lines at bars and restaurants.  

By 1:15 a.m., Court Street was almost completely empty. Police officers were asking people to stay off of the street and move onto the sidewalks. 

Megan Carlson, Susie Griffin, Arianna Guerra, Ian McKenzie, Chloe Meyers, Abby Miller, Jackie Osborne, Hardika Singh, Nolan Simmons, George Shillcock and Mikayla Rochelle contributed to this article.

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