Not the Halloween Block Party you are imagining

When you think Halloween in Athens, Ohio you probably see headlines like this:

via The Post
via The Post
via The Columbus Dispatch
via The Columbus Dispatch

But a few days after the Halloween Block Party emerged a calmer event. The Athens Uptown Business Association organized a trick-or-treat for local children on Halloween last Monday that was free of partygoers and loud music. Instead children filed down Court St stopping at participating businesses to pick up a few pieces of candy. Here’s more:

Building community through art with Honey for the Heart

For the last month local artists, both townie and student have collaborated making puppets for the annual Honey for the Heart parade. This year the various projects had to work around the central theme of birds, with each project taking on a different interpretation. Each puppet is unique not only in look, but how it operates, what it’s materials, and overall theme itself. Honey for the Heart is done on a volunteer basis where even the artistically challenged can help. This week anyone can stop by to help finish the puppets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this week before the parade at 6 p.m. this Saturday at Central Venue on Carpenter Street.

My little home away from home

When I think about places in Athens, there is only one that immediately comes to mind

It would be my office, which is located on the second floor of the Radio-Television Communications Building.

Since I don’t live within the city and commute several hours to be in Athens for just a couple days

The Tardis from Dr. Who was part of a Halloween costume that now resides in 273 RTV building.
The Tardis from Dr. Who was part of a Halloween costume that now resides in 273 RTV.

a week, there isn’t a lot of time for exploring.

However, my office serves as a place of peace and quiet. It’s a refuge from the activities that occur throughout campus and the place I typically arrive before the sun rises and leave after it sets.

While it doesn’t seem like much, those four walls provide the solitude and space necessary. It’s the place where I prepare for the classes I teach, conduct research, and work with the two other graduate students with whom I share the office.

One of my office mates researches journalism history and the other studies fans of Dr. Who, which leads to some interesting conversations. It also results in an office that consists of a lot of books, some Dr. Who photos and a Tardis that was part of a Halloween costume.

The office certainly isn’t a palace. It’s messy, doesn’t have a view, and certainly isn’t in the best location. It does, however, have everything I need. We’ve got a refrigerator, a few computers, comfortable chairs, and most importantly a photo on my desk of my wife and daughter. These are the two people who serve as my motivation as I move forward towards receiving a doctorate.

My space isn’t always perfect. We had a water pipe burst above the ceiling in the first week of the fall semester, and the heat doesn’t always work in the way that it should.

But it’s a place where I can put on my headphones, concentrate and forget about the rest of the world.

Plus, I think we’re the only place on campus that has its own Tardis.

‘The Post’ has the scoop on Halloween arrests

Halloween is one of Athens’ and Ohio University’s most notorious parties.  The annual block party blowout is one of the most anticipated nights of debauchery all year.  With so many people coming in for the weekend, Halloween usually has its fair share of troublemakers.  This Halloween was no different.  While the town was busy partying, the increased police force was busy keeping the peace.  In case you were were wondering how many Halloween arrests were made over the weekend, The Post has you covered here.

Halloween costumes are serious investments for those attending the block party on Court Street

DSC00002Re-selling Halloween costumes is not a popular option for attendees of HallOUween. Plenty have bought their unique costumes (sometimes with future use in mind) and are planning on keeping them if not to use again, then at least for the memories.

 

Hannah, 24, bought a yellow jumpsuit from an adult website to complete her version of The Bride from the Kill Bill movies, but she has no plans to sell it, saying, “On naughtyfox.com, it was either this or an $80 display costume.”
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Chad, dressed as Indiana Jones, says he would consider selling his costume on eBay or Craigslist only if he had to.DSC00004

 

Garret says he’s never going to sell his WWII style bomber cap which he got from Athens Underground in “one of the best deals I’ve come across in a while.”DSC00007

 

For Jacob Solether, his Stormtrooper costume is going to continue being useful by the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and he plans on wearing it at baseball games. The only place he would ever consider selling it, however, would be at comic-con.

For many, dressing up for the block party on Halloween is a valuable investment that is not taken lightly. For these few, it’s one they’ve made for most of the foreseeable future.

History of the HallOUween t-shirt

Traditions are rich in Athens, Ohio. A crowd favorite: HallOUween and the famous block party that brings hundreds of out-of-towners to the small town to dress up and celebrate. What would this tradition be without proper annual documentation?

Kevin Morgan, a local artist, has spent the past 34 falls creating specific t-shirt designs to coincide with the wild weekend’s events. From sugar skulls to this years “OU Attack Cat”, his individual style remains consistent but the design never repeats. The t-shirts are sold annually at Uptown Dog, on Union Street, the store Morgan started himself.

According to the Post, Morgan makes about $2,000 each Halloween. But for him, it’s not about the money. He simply loves creating art.

Starting October 25 and continuing until November 25, Morgan’s work from the past 34 HallOUweens will be on display at Jackie O’s Taproom and Brewery at 25 Campbell St. Here’s a glimpse of sketches Morgan has etched over the years. To see more make sure to stop by the brewery!

IMG_1542 A retro skeleton in 2000.

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A flaming design for the 1993 sketch.
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A red sugar skull in 2012.
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This design was in honor of his 40th anniversary.

 

 

Inside the HallOUween block party

The Halloween human parking meter.
The Halloween human parking meter.

The beginning of the fall season beckons the imminence of the Halloween celebrations. Straightaway, the almost forgotten city of southeast Ohio, Athens, becomes the name on everyone’s lips — both young and old.

All roads lead to the brick city, the undisputed “home of HallOUween,” to have a feel of the wind of fun and craziness blowing through the county.

During this time the hash tag #HallOUween trends on social media, to give everyone an idea of where to be for the celebration. Don’t be surprised to see “OU” in the middle of the word itself. Halloween is Athens. Athens is Halloween. Period.

Saturday night was not different. It was a sight to behold on the brick-lined Court Street of Athens. The famous Athens Halloween Block Party was making progress.

With a charged atmosphere and a massive show of youthful exuberance, students, community members and visitors sang along and cheered performers throughout the night. The excitement was beyond description.halllll

Aside the music, dance and ear-blocking cheers from revelers, I observed one thing. Some eateries and bars had a pocket swell. Long-winding queues stretched from their entrances with a spill onto the streets. Obviously, food could never be left out of the night’s pleasure, which translated into what could be described as a very good business day for some Court Street business owners.

Another thing caught my attention. A human parking meter with the popular campus yellow bag with the inscriptions “no parking” worn on his head. You just questioned won’t he suffocate to death? Huh? Exactly my thoughts when I first saw him.

halllThankfully, he had punched holes around the eyes and nose to allow for breathing. He stood still with one arm stretched. You ‘park’ in front of him, he fines you. Just as simple as that. (Hahahaaa!).

Returning to my humble abode, scores of people were having their own mini block parties in front of their apartments. As to whether it was a warm up to go down to Court Street, or their own way of celebrating the night, I can’t tell but all I can say is that, Athens #HallOUween Block Party was a blast with a variety of activities for both young and old.hall

Halloween in Athens: Social media recap

Another year, another Halloween weekend filled with debauchery on Court Street and in Athens.

Students took to their phones before, during and after the Athens Halloween Block Party to share their experiences, both good and bad, on social media.

It turns out the Halloween block party actually began in 1974, as The Post tweeted out, when rowdy students blocked traffic on Court Street. The tradition continued each year until the City of Athens began sponsoring the event.

Before the chaos started, Court Street was completely empty. One clever Instagram user created a side-by-side comparison of how Court Street looked before and during the Halloween festivities.

Before and After #HallOUween ??

A photo posted by Nigel Harris (@scoob_96) on

Early on Saturday, students began donning their costumes, some perhaps getting a little too into the whole dressing up thing. One student’s tweet garnered over a thousand favorites on Twitter, featuring students dressed like animals acting in their natural habitats.

https://twitter.com/emma_lee_h/status/660821923031552002

Many a clever costume could be seen on Halloween. One Instagram user, depicted below, dressed up as Forrest Gump, the titular character of the 1994 film. It’s pretty clear the bench was an essential part of this guy’s costume.

Jenny and me was like peas and carrots. #HallOUween

A photo posted by Spencer Holbrook (@spencerholbrook) on

Squirrel costumes were extremely abundant this year. It’s not clear why this was so. It could be a result of OU students’ obsession with Athens squirrels or an immature need  to make jokes about “nuts,” or both. Regardless, squirrels were seen all over Athens on Saturday, both human and rodent.

Squirrel. Fucking. Squad! #HALLOUWEEN

A photo posted by That's So Athens (@thatssoathens_) on

As the evening progressed, the actual block party on Court Street took off. A photographer posted his photos from the event to Twitter, capturing the color and craziness of the festivities.

Here’s another photo of the block party someone tweeted, this one showing the immense crowd at the first stage at the intersection of Court and Union. A corner usually traversed by students walking to class or Uptown to get food was transformed into a massive rave.

https://twitter.com/NickBolin_/status/660714302639353856

One of the musical artists who performed Saturday, DJ B Funk, took to the stage dressed as the Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George. It’s safe to say Curious George would be very curious about B Funk’s performance at the block party.

DJ B Funk expressed his gratitude on Twitter after the block party had ended. Other performances on the block party’s two stages included such names as Get Weird, 2 High Crew, Ape Mode, Ghostowl and Blond. The Post reported about how those performances went.

Students weren’t the only ones walking the uptown streets on Halloween night. Local law enforcement was out in full force, including officers — and their horses — who patrolled the area. Martha Compton, director of Community Standards at Ohio University, tweeted her gratitude for the officers.

But another student wasn’t quite as excited about the horses as Compton was…

Not all the festivity occurred on Court Street during halloween. While students danced in the mosh pits on Court Street, others dressed as Jedi Knights from Star Wars battled it out on West Green. Whether the dark or light side prevailed that night is hard to say.

Much festivity also occurred on Mill Street, as massive crowds headed to and from from the block party. And with such festivity came more law enforcement, as officers shut down parties on Mill Street. Post News Editor Emily Bohatch tweeted about one incident.

Many students may have been surprised when the Daylight Saving Time change hit at 2 a.m. Student Senate President Gabby Bacha tweeted about her frustration experiencing 1 a.m. all over again.

The rain started to calm things down toward the end of the night. Many costumed individuals could be seen drenched by the rain, which was a sad sight. One Instagram user captured the night’s end as crowds left Court Street while the rain poured down.

That night, police made a total of 71 arrests, not including the arrests made on Friday. And not all of those arrests were OU students, however, with many of them being visiting students from other colleges.

The morning after, Post staffer Will Drabold captured the lines at Court Street eateries, presumably filled with many hung over students. Bagel Street Deli’s line ran as far as the curb, with customers staring at their phones waiting for breakfast.

One student summed up the Halloween festivities’ best features in one Tweet:

While this year’s Halloween in Athens may have seemed like a typical one, it’s safe to stay that students still enjoyed themselves and continued to document their night on social media.

Want to share your Halloween experience on social media? Tweet this article’s author @AlxMeyer.

Sports costumes get KO’d at HallOUween

We thought it would be easy to find sports-themed costumes at the Athens Halloween Block Party.

Not so much.

We found several. But we also found a lot of folks who thought tossing on their tattered team jersey was all it took to create a Halloween costume.

It seemed as if more people dressed as things they want to eat than people they want to be.

We saw more hot dogs, pizzas, fruits, and lattes than Manziels, Elliots, and Bradys. Hollywood themes also were prominent, like Janice Ian from Mean Girls or Ellen DeGeneres. Even at the bars, there were more TV-themed and political-themed costumes than we’ve seen since the 2012 block party.

When a woman walked into a party in a Michael Jordan Bulls jersey, our Chicago-native reporter was elated.

“Oh, that a sick jersey!” our reporter said.

“I know. I love the Cleveland Bulls.”

“Do you know whose jersey you’re wearing?” our correspondent asked.

“Yeah. LeBron,” she said.

That pretty much sums up the sports themes we encoutered.

“The only other sports-themed costume I saw was a FEMALE dressed as Ray Rice,” our reporter said. “I about lost it. If you’re a female and decide to dress up as an NFL player who abused his fiancee, you’re the reason female sports fans are not taken seriously. Do some research before you look like an idiot.”

All that being said, we did stumble across a few local attempts at team spirit.

Soccer may not be the most popular sport in America, but you can still find fans in Athens. Two seniors, Rob Berry and Andreas Olivari showed off their devotion to the sport this Halloween with makeshift soccer uniforms.

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Rob Berry

“I’ve been a soccer player for the last three years. I love the game,” Olivari said.

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Andreas Olivari

While they were showing off their footwork, one girl decided to put an emphasis on her hands instead, dressing as a boxer for the evening.

“Not too many girls go with boxing costumes so I’m glad I picked it,” said Alexis Smith, a visitor from Uhrichsville, Ohio.

She was very vocal about including her friends in the picture. Those same friends jokingly referred to her as Alexis “Stonehands” Smith to go along with her costume.

IMG_3609-2
Alexis Smith (right)

Russell Wilson came all the way from Seattle for some Athens fun. It didn’t seem to affect his performance on Sunday in the 13-12 Win over the Cowboys.

I would have given the ball to Marshawn ??#HallOUween #RussellWilson

A photo posted by Calvin Holloway (@calhollow) on

   Another of our reporters went to Walmart before the festivities began to get a last-minute fanny pack. While walking the aisles, she saw these two best friends, Audrey Coyne and Courtney Greer. Coyne dressed as DeflateGate while Greer donned a Serena Williams costume. It was good to see dedication (from the hats down to the shoes) after seeing so many mediocre costumes.  image2 This random guy was dressed as a referee, though not a very clever one we must add. (Jeans, really?) When asked about why he decided to dress up as a referee, his response every time was, “Athens happens.” He then decided to bash Ohio University by saying that he went to “THE best damn school in the land OSU.” Naturally, that was the end of the conversation.  image1   Johnny Manziel made an appearance in Athens. He tried to get that money but failed as he usually does getting the starting position.

Mario & Luigi dress as basketball players. An interesting vibe for a Celtics Luigi to be paired with a Bulls Mario

Mario and Luigi… Because we’re brothers

A photo posted by James Richard Gollon (@jamesgollon) on

Ezekiel Elliot made a pit stop after his game against Minnesota on Saturday. He even got a picture with his favorite animal.

If you didn’t know @ezekielelliott was at HallOUween…he Got a picture with his favorite animal #InCropTopsWeTrust A photo posted by Zarine Giardullo (@zarinegiardullo) on *** This story was reported and curated by Karli Bell, Kim Oswald, Tony Wolfe and Austin Erickson.

LeBron’s not the only star getting his Halloween game on

By now we’ve all seen LeBron James posing as Prince. But he’s not the only sports star who got his game on for Halloween. Here are a few other sports stars who went above and beyond with their costumes …

Deron Williams gave a nod to another “athlete” by dressing up as “Macho Man” Randy Savage, one of the late great professional wrestlers who won championships on the WWF and the WCW.

“You rang?” There are several photos of Dirk Nowitzki from this Halloween in his Lurch get-up, and all feature the same bulgy-eyed look you see here. It’s terrifying. Good for the 7-foot-tall NBA veteran for not slacking on his Halloween effort, and also for finding something that suits his stature so well.

  Tony Stewart showed up Tony Gibson, a NASCAR crew chief, when he showed up to a party in drag. It’s safe to say Stewart doesn’t cut corners in driving or in dressing up.

And finally, here is Rob Gronkowski on Colbert …

***

This story was reported and curated by Karli Bell, Kim Oswald, Tony Wolfe and Austin Erickson.