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People partying during Mill Fest, March 23, 2024.

Mill Fest rings in Fest Season

Mill Fest helps kick off Ohio University’s Fest Season each year, setting the tone for the many weekends of day drinking ahead of OU students, and this year was no different. 

Every spring semester at OU, students gather at a certain street to attend one or a couple of the many house parties being held. Milliron and Mill Fests, held at Milliron and Mill Street, typically kick off the season, with Mill Fest usually drawing one of the largest crowds. As students started hitting Mill Street around 10 a.m., Saturday parties quickly materialized around 11 a.m. 

Conditions were not perfect on Saturday, with cold and windy weather, but it did not deter students’ excitement. Bennett Snyder, a recent student who graduated with a journalism degree last winter, said he would describe Mill Fest as “just a lot of fun, all compacted into one big party on every single house, every single house their own vibe.”

Snyder also said it’s important to play safe when throwing for Mill Fest, in order to not get shut down by the police. 

“It’s sort of a survival of the fittest,” Snyder said. “You don’t want to get shut down, so you try and play it safe for as long as you can.” 

This mindset should not only be applied to parties because students should look out for themselves and their belongings. Dylan Patterson, a political science pre-law and physical activity and sports coaching major, said he started “losing stuff” at 9 a.m.

The intensity of the parties on Mill Street is wild, with the mix of alcohol, excited college students and a continuous stream of overstimulation. Some backyards filled with over one hundred students at the height of the day. Groups hosting parties often charge men a cover fee to attend their parties but allow women in for free. This can offset costs for DJs and drinks that many houses offer for free once inside.

Dylan Evershed, an undecided sophomore and member of Acacia fraternity, was guarding the entrance to 89 Mill and said they were charging men anything from $10 to $20, while women got in for free. 

Ambulances and police patrolled Mill Street throughout the day. Police flanked the streets during the day and night. During the day, a combination of Ohio University Police and the Athens Police Department were present on every corner of Mill Street. At night, police followed students to Court Street who were visiting its bars.

2024’s Mill Fest, as always, was eventful and hectic, but the festivities slowed down around 4:30 p.m., leaving students to find their way home or uptown to the bars.


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