Bobcat weekend update

It’s hard to believe we are starting week six of the fall semester already. Don’t remember much about this weekend? Get caught up on what you missed in case it was a little fuzzy.

PG weekend in Athens

The bricks played host to the parents in Athens this weekend, leaving leaving many parents with grinning faces, a hefty hangover and a better understanding of our hOUme.

Parents weekend is a change of pace in Athens. Students take their foot off the pedal for a few days and coast through a relaxing weekend alongside their loving guardians. Studious bobcats turned to insightful tour guides showing off our picturesque campus.

Some parents may have enjoyed the visit so much they even decided to enroll at Ohio University themselves.

Court Street was beaming with activity this weekend. Freshly spoiled bobcats giddily walked along the bricks with shopping bags filled with new treasures in hand. The endless growling of stomachs subsided and bobcats everywhere welcomed the rare sensation of being full.

Unfortunately the time for leisure has past. It’s Monday, the parents short lived visit is over (probably in the nick of time, wouldn’t want to do anything too embarrassing for mom). It’s time to return to the class room and hit the books.

Blame Stephen’s for your favorite bar being crowded.

If you made your way uptown this weekend you might have noticed a serious influx of people at your favorite watering whole.

Blame Stephen’s.

After a mix up with the authorities, Stephen’s was giving a citation for a violation of their liquor license the bar was unable to serve alcohol for the weekend.

Stephen’s is a fan favorite among many bobcats. Without being able to serve alcohol the entire bar “food chain” uptown was thrown out of whack.

Long lines outside of the bars were the least of your worries. The massive crowds packed into bars like Courtside Pizza were intimidating. The narrow space between the two halves of Courtside became a major choke point that was impassible at times. Many patrons experienced intense claustrophobia and simply just left.

Don’t fret though, Stephens will be back popping bottle this Friday at noon and the balance will be restored to the force.

Country Night Lights

If your parents didn’t stop by this weekend, you very well could have found yourself at the Country Night Lights music festival Friday and Saturday.

We are all familiar with #Fest, the annual music festival that closes out the spring fest season here in Athens. Traditionally #Fest caters to music fans more on the hip-hop and EDM spectrum, giving no love to country music fanatics.

To cure country music fans’ FOMO (fear of missing out), Prime Social Group created Country Night Lights festival last year.

The two day festival featured 13 artists, including headliners Jake Owen and Brett Eldredge.

Too much of the surprise of the concert goers, Country Night Lights was a hodgepodge of musical genres.

Chris Lane performed several covers including chart topping hits by The Weekend, Justin Timberlake, NSYC and of course the Backstreet Boys. Frankie Ballard also changed it up. Ballard got in touch with his inner Elvis when he covered “Hound Dog” and “Heart Break Hotel.”

All and all Country Night Lights was a major success and will be circled on the calendar and penciled into the planners of many bobcats next fall semester.

The Browns did what they do bestlose

The Browns really took one on the chin this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Going into the game there was nothing expected of the Browns, but really when is anything expected of the Browns other than another tally in the loss column? However, this week the Browns were starting their fifth starting quarterback in five games, the rookie Cody Kessler.

Too much of the surprise of the Browns faithful, their team had a serious chance to win this week. Thanks a well managed game by the rookie Kessler and a breakout performance by the former Ohio State and NFL quarterback Terrelle Pryor Sr.

Pryor ate. He pulled in eight receptions for for 144 yards, along with four rushes for 21 yard and a rushing touchdown.

For once it wasn’t the Browns defense blowing coverage or giving up loads of costly penalties, and for once it wasn’t the offense puttering along at a snails pace that lost the game for the Browns. No this time it was special teams.

The blame has solely been placed on the shoulders of Cody Parkey, the Browns new kicker.

Yeezy taught us.

Many bobcats made the trip up 33 Sunday to Columbus for Kanye West’s stop on his awe inspiring Saint Pablo Tour.

The self proclaimed “voice of our generation,” Kanye West, took to the air Sunday night in the Schottenstein Center in front of a crowd of nearly 20,000.

The Saint Pablo Tour features a suspended stage that hovers above the crowd. The stage moves and tilts to different angels around the area giving each view angle equal face time.

kanye-lasers
Laser lights display at the Kanye West concert in Columbus (Photo: Eben George)

The tour features no opening act. It was just Kanye and 31 of the most popular hip-hop songs of the last 12 years. Despite being an area show there was a strong sense of intimacy between Kanye and the crowd.

He even had a personal conversation with a girl by the name of Bristol.

“…specifically to the girl with the ‘in loving memory of’ with the Runaway tattoo right here,” Kanye said. “You literally brought tears to my eyes, sweetheart what’s your name?” he said.

The fans were not only there to hear Kanye rap, but also to hear one of his iconic stream-of-consciousness rants. Kanye preached the importance of artistic freedom, a need for self worth, optimism and to never stop dreaming.

kanye-dream
Kanye West took Columbus by storm Sunday night during his stop on the Saint Pablo Tour (Photo: Eben George)

Strong words coming from the hip-hop legend (21 Grammys), fashion designer and pop culture icon. It’s safe to say, we love Kanye like Kanye loves Kanye.

Political events you probably didn’t notice this weekend in Athens

It may have been Parents Weekend at OU, but that didn’t keep Athens from getting as political as ever. Here are the top politically-driven events you may have missed while you were at the bars with Mom and Dad.

Tyre King Memorial

After 13-year-old Tyre King was shot and killed by a police officer in Columbus, a group of students and community members has set up a memorial on the courthouse steps. The memorial includes a variety of handmade signs to commemorate King, who was shot while holding a BB gun.

Continued debate over campus graffiti
In addition to the memorial, King-related graffiti has been popping up across campus, from the Civil War Monument to the graffiti wall. The graffiti wall was later anonymously painted to feature a hanged figure, although this was later painted around by students who wanted to express their disgust for the image.

Ohio mayors for Hillary

Chillicothe mayor Luke Feeney speaks with students. Photo by Ellen Bardash.
Chillicothe mayor Luke Feeney speaks with students. Photo by Ellen Bardash.

On Friday afternoon, the mayors of Chillicothe and Dayton joined Athens Mayor Steve Patterson and OU College Democrats in efforts to increase voter registration. The event, which was held in front of College Gate, was the last stop on an 18-city bus tour in which mayors from around the state met with Ohioans to discuss why they think they should vote for Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump this November.

City Council Meeting

Photo via The Athens Messenger
Photo via The Athens Messenger

Today, Athens City Council will hold its second and final committee meeting of the month in the City Council Chambers. Council members are expected to discuss topics such as the ever-controversial pool. The Council will also hold a special session immediately after the committee meetings.

94th Ohio House District Debate

Looking forward, Ohio Student Senate will host a debate between candidates for Ohio’s 94th district House representative. The debate between Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) and Sarah Grace (D-Athens) is scheduled for this Tuesday at 7 p.m., although Edwards said he never actually agreed to this date.

A parents weekend to remember.

The last weekend in September, always has high people traffic in Athens, as the parents of the young scholars’ flock back to have a fun time with their kids.

It all started on Friday night where the Ohio Bobcats took on Akron in volleyball. The parents were in for a treat as Ohio opened up their Mid-American Conference play with a three game sweep against the Zips.

Saturdays might be for the boys, but this weekend they were for parents. It started after a long night out on the bricks at 2 o’clock. Ohio took host Gardner-Webb. The Bobcats sent the parents on their way with a great performance.

img_9500
my parents are in Florida so my sister and I rented our family friends from Columbus parents for Saturday

After the game, or after the Marching 110 at halftime… the parents and their families made the trek up to Court Street for some happy hour drinks at the local bars.

img_2745
not all kids had their parents come down so some had to share like Max O’Bryan did with Kristen Rossi’s (not pictured) mother

After a couple of cheap drinks and some great food to fill up the empty stomachs, the families made their way to the Athena Cimena for a great comedy show in “The Monty Python.”

 

Hopefully next years’ parents weekend can be as great as this past weekend. Have a wonderful week

Bobcat parents invade: How to convince your folks OU life is colorful, healthy, and of course, alcohol-free

Parents in town

Hilarious comments flooded Twitter after Ohio University Parents Weekend kicked off Friday in Athens, Ohio.

In response to the annual tradition that allows students on campus reuniting with their families, Twitter user Chuck Morgan, @chuckmorgan23, wrote, “It’s not a parents weekend at OU unless a dad starts a bar fight.”

Another Twitter user, Haley Priebe, @haleypriebe, said that “My dad is so excited to come to ou for parents weekend because he thinks that means we are drinking 24/7, SOS.”

The Career and Leadership Development Center of Ohio University tweeted that every parent looked like this during the weekend:

Hope it’s not because they drank too much. Ohio University hosted several family-friendly activities during the weekend, including a brunch, a bike tour, and a campfire event. The purpose was to provide parents an opportunity to connect to the university.

It’s not all about party

How to convince your parents that Athens is more than an isolated college town? Among several activities held during the weekend, a magician’s show and a library event with a historical bent could answer the question.

Adam Trent: Magician Reinvented

Broadway star Adam Trent brought his magician performance “Adam Trent: Magician Reinvented” to Ohio University Friday night as part of the school’s Parents Weekend events.

Trent’s audience interactive performance, described as “mind-bending, jaw-dropping” by Time Out New York magazine, combines magic, dancing and singing, as well as stand-up comedy.

Steampunk Festival
Steampunkers gather at Athens Public Library Saturday, September 24, 2016.
Steampunkers gather at Athens Public Library Saturday, September 24, 2016.

A tea party, a shooting game, and workshops… Athens Public Library hosted its fourth annual Steampunk Festival Saturday. This year the theme was “Full Steam into the West.”

Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that focuses on steam power technology. The genre inspires Steampunk fashion that integrates modern designs with 19th-century Victorian elements.

If your families have decided to stay for another week
Athens Invitational Marching Festival

Several high school marching bands from Southeast and Central Ohio will compete in the 42nd annual Athens Invitational Marching Festival at Athens High School on Saturday, October 1.

The event is open to the public and admission is $5. Festival organizers will donate ticket proceeds for youth development. Find more information here.

Inaugural Habitat 5K Fall Fun Run/Walk

Celebrate the Fall season of Athens with your parents in a healthy way. A run/walk race will be held Saturday, October 1 at Athens Community Center. Admission is $25 for adults and $10 for children under 14. Registration proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio. Find more information here.

Homecoming, other holiday weekends have significant impact on local businesses

At 3:00 on a weekday afternoon, local bookstores and merchandise shops are a fairly quiet place to be. There are a small number of customers leisurely scanning the place, perhaps passing time between classes and meetings, or attempting to discover something new that hadn’t existed in the store before. Another few are more focused, spending about a minute in the store when all is said and done, walking in to retrieve whatever it is they specifically came to the store for, making their purchase and darting back out into the flood of faces on Court Street.

The places are hardly recognizable, then, on weekends like last week’s Homecoming, when the flood of faces from Court Street suddenly somehow multiplies itself two or three times, and those faces pour into local businesses.

splash_homecoming_photo2
College Bookstore’s prominence just off campus makes it one of the most accessible options for OU merchandise

“Homecoming’s one of our busiest weekends of the semester,” Gene Armes, manager at College Bookstore, said. “There’s a large crowd, and since we cater to Ohio University, we see a large number of alumni coming in here. Those types of weekends are very important to us, and we do a large amount of business on those days.”

The fall is a time when these types of holiday weekends seem to continuously pop up on the calendar, with welcome weekend, parents weekend, and homecoming already passing by in the short month and a half students have returned to school. It isn’t over yet, either, as Halloween approaches at the end of the month, while Dads Weekend comes in November.

Even with all of the traffic overflow, each business needs to have its own way to set itself apart. For a store like College Bookstore, its location directly across from college green is enough to give it a distinguished brand in the face of students and their guests. For others, it takes a little bit more creativity.

“Each new event is new for us,” Mary Cheadle, operator of Uptown Dog T-Shirts, said. “We don’t know whether anybody is going to come, or if more people are going to come than ever.”

Cheadle says that around 50% of her sales come from “about seven or eight” weekends throughout the year.

12138616_10153728180097386_7396784720551417038_o
Uptown Dog sells shirts like this during Halloween weekend

Uptown Dog T-Shirts has always made a name for itself by making edgier merchandise than its competitors, and selling it for lower prices. Because of 2014’s Union Street fire, however, its original building was destroyed, and even though the business simply moved directly across the street, the owners still have a problem with people simply thinking the shop is no longer in business.

“Some people look at (the construction sites and damaged buildings) and think, ‘Oh, they just went out of business,'” Cheadle said. “Some people come in here and ask us, ‘Whatever happened to Uptown Dog?’, not knowing they’re already at the new place. That has hurt us, but we still have retained good sales on the big weekends.”

Cheadle, like many other businesses around Court Street and its surrounding shops, jacks up her staff for the big weekends. For Uptown Dog, it means expanding the staff from one or two part-time weekend workers to a group of six people running the shop. For the recently-opened Bluetique on West State Street, it meant hiring a door man to manage traffic getting in and out on the latest Parents Weekend.

“We really kicked butt on Parents Weekend, and I’m sure a lot of other places did too,” Bluetique store manager Marissa Whaley said. “You don’t just have mom or dad with you, you have both of them. So that makes a big difference, even though we do expect a lot of traffic on Dads weekend as well.”

With Halloween coming up in two weekends, it will once again be up to each store to figure out how to maximize revenue as Athens’ population doubles for the Block Party. Uptown Dog will be carrying official shirts for the Block Party, while Bluetique will be selling special Halloween products in the weeks leading up to the holiday.