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High Fest Flows Smoothly

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Photo by Kaleb Carter

They came in neon, tank tops and faded shorts, and they came with alcohol. Ohio University students and visitors bombarded High Street to enjoy the music, party atmosphere, sunny weather and entertainment for the second fest of the season: High Fest.

A week after the first spring fest (Mill Fest), Ohio University students came out in what seemed to be even greater numbers this past weekend at High Fest. Partygoers crowded the sidewalks and the lawns of the houses where the parties took place. People danced on balconies and porches. Footballs were thrown in the streets and Frisbees were being tossed around at numerous parties.

As the day rolled along, more news filtered through social media about what was taking place at the fest. Arrest after arrest was tweeted by the Twitter account @AthensScanner, which included pictures of partiers in handcuffs for offenses varying from obstruction of justice and public urination to underage consumption (many of these arrested by undercover officers on the scene). Ambulances were called to the scene as one individual suffered contusions and lacerations to the head and hand.

There was even a booking area designated to help relocate those who were being arrested.

Around 7:15 p.m., cops began going house to house along High Street to shut each party down. Other officers patrolled on horseback during the end of the events. As the night wore on, more reports of fights and assaults filtered in, as well as property crimes.

But the negligence of some did not put a damper on others. Some were set on making it a good time for others, including DJ Alex Fear who shouted over blaring speakers.

“People come up to me with requests, and I play what they want to hear,” Fear said. “That is what it is all about.”

Local businesses were also affected, as many went to the bars and made purchases at these businesses. Mark Lemmon, who was working Uptown Dog T-Shirts at the time of the fest, noted the increased business for the store, specifically the neon t-shirts and tank tops that many students were purchasing.

“Well since Mill Fest, because that was the first one, [students] have just been buying them throughout,” he said. “They just keep coming in.”

Photo by Kaleb Carter

Fest season continues throughout OU’s spring semester with Palmer Fest and Number Fest. The city hopes to continue to keep disorderly behavior at a minimum.

Officers patrolling the streets throughout the early part of the day declined to comment on the festivities.

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