Ohio University students and festgoers were treated to calm weather during what many considered to be the most underrated fest of the season.
For many students, High Fest won that title due to the attitude that festgoers bring to High Street. Dante DiBucci, a junior studying engineering, said High Fest is the best weekend of fest season.
“Everyone’s high! It’s closer to the bars, I mean you’re kind of on the mountain a little bit so when the sun’s beating down, you feeling a little better, you know, good vibes, vibes are higher,” DiBucci said. “It’s a bad day to be a beer.”
Chris Conway, a freshman studying music production, said he enjoys the culture of High Fest.
“I feel like a lot of people are like expressing their hippie creative side, that’s pretty cool,” Conway said. “You gotta bring out those colors.”
High Fest came into full swing by 10 a.m., but many students began celebrating well before that. Ashley Burns, a senior studying finance, said she and her friends began partying around 7 a.m.
“We’re going to make it the best one yet,” Burns said. “You got to drink ’til you drop.”
The police presence increased at about noon. Mounted officers patrolled the streets, along with officers from Athens Police Department, Ohio University Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, who had set up in the Athens Middle School parking lot.
APD Chief of Police Tom Pyle said that attendance was down from other years. No violent incidents had been reported by 2:30 p.m., but around 3 p.m. an incident occurred near South High Street which required an ambulance.
Everything began to wind down by 4 p.m., when some students left High Street to find food or go rest. Others went to the bars on Court Street to continue drinking.
High Fest holds a special place in the hearts of a lot of upperclassmen students. Jackson Pardue, a junior studying ITS, told a story about a student who had fallen out of a tree during High Fest in 2017.
“The dude climbed a big tree to find a frisbee or something, and he fell at least like 20, 30 feet,” Pardue said. “It took him a few minutes, but he got up. He had some liquid courage in him.”
For Connor Hoarty, a senior studying MIS and finance, High Fest represents the bittersweet notion of graduation. He had some advice for the underclassmen who are still new to fest season.
“I feel like I just got here last week. I’m graduating in a month, and it’s definitely a shame. So enjoy every minute of it, make memories, make friends, and just have a good time,” Hoarty said. “Whatever you’re doing here at OU, just enjoy it. It’s the best college in the world, it’s the best college town in America, so just enjoy every second of it.”