Fest season is a tradition Ohio University students celebrate and wait for every Spring Semester. As notable as those parties are, so are the guests.

With such a big party, it’s inevitable to have some visitors from other schools. Starting back in the ‘90s out of protest, OU fests have become a major draw for students to host their friends. There’s something about the culture of OU block parties specifically that makes people drive to the middle of rural Ohio, stand in mud and bad weather and drink cheap beer and jungle juice.

Amanda Archer, from Loraine, Ohio, traveled to Athens for Mill Fest with four friends to visit their best friend from high school, who attends OU. The weekend was her first time visiting OU.

“I have never seen anything like this,” Archer said. “It’s pretty crazy, and I never thought people woke up this early to drink for almost no reason.” 

Archer said she had never heard of fest season but wanted to visit for another one.

Jacob Mahoney, who attends Ohio State University, visits OU regularly to see his friend from high school. He was a guest during fest season last year, too, and said Ohio State doesn’t have any parties that quite compare.

“The amount of alcohol and amount of people always surprises me,” Mahoney said.

Some other students at Ohio State talked to him about the OU parties they’ve attended, and they all used the same word — crazy.

Adam Wells, from the University of Cincinnati, similarly said his university has no parties like fests. He visited his brother, who is a junior at OU, and this weekend was his first time visiting Athens.

Wells’ brother had been trying to get him to visit before, but he never had a chance until Saturday. Wells was excited to visit because of all the stories he had heard before.

“I thought more people would jump off roofs, but I never expected this many people to come out,” Wells said. “Athens is where the party is.”