Home Social Justice Annual fest season begins smoothly with Milliron, Mill Fest

Annual fest season begins smoothly with Milliron, Mill Fest

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Nicki Minaj blasted through speakers and beer kegs were tapped as Ohio University students started the annual street fest season on Milliron and Mill Streets Friday and Saturday.

Due to the change from quarters to semesters, fest season, usually beginning with High Street Fest, started this year with Milliron and Mill Fest instead. Students gathered from house to house in neon fest jerseys, hats, and tight t-shirts.

Unlike previous years, Mayor Paul Wiehl believed this year’s Mill Fest to be busier for law enforcement.

“I was surprised because there seemed to be more people,” Wiehl said. “Historically we always thought Mill Fest was pretty mellow. I was told OSU was out last weekend for their break so that was another factor. Some of the houses that were giving us trouble we closed down so it worked out and it shut down pretty earlier.”

Twenty-nine people were arrested by both the Athens Police Department and OUPD. The charges included underage consumption of alcohol, public intoxication, open container, obstruction of official business, possession of marijuana, public urination, burglary, and tampering of evidence, according to a release on the city’s website.

In addition to city and campus police officers, patrolling Mill Street throughout the day were five mounted police and 24 members of the OU sponsored Green Team. The team consisted of student and resident volunteers who walked the sidewalks in pairs while on the lookout for illegal activity.

In addition to individual arrests, 10 parties were shut down for violating the current nuisance party ordinance. The number of house parties brought to an end by police was higher this year than previous years.

“We have taken a hard line with the nuisance party ordinance,” Wiehl said. “Essentially the idea is rather than wait for it to get out of hand, we would like to head it off so to speak.”

One party, thrown by OU student Jeff Ryan of 84 Mill St., was shut down around 4:30 p.m.

“We were being a little bit too loud and there were people on the balcony spilling beer,” said Ryan. “There were probably about 200 people there.”

Ryan explained that no one was cited for the incident but the police did ask that the yard be cleaned and that no parties be thrown after they left.

“I was not really mad, just disappointed that we did not get to finish all of our beer,” Ryan said. “There were also a lot of people who came from out of town. Honestly, I thought it was ridiculous that they shut us down for something that was good fun.”



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