Published Wed, Oct 26, 2011 10:36 am Dateline
Updated Mon, Oct 31, 2011 5:38 pm
Since 1974, the Athens Halloween block party has grown from an informal Court Street gathering to an infamous festival, with crowds exceeding 30,000 people.
Hocking Hills photographer Dennis Savage has been documenting the annual bash for 30 years.
"Taking photographs at the Athens Halloween festival has always been pure fun for me," he said. "I had attended the festival a few times but didn’t begin to carry my cameras until 1981. The adolescent energy and the creative costumes always added up to a good time, so I kept returning."
Savage has lived in the Hocking Hills Region since the 1970s. He has received three awards of Excellence in Photography from the Ohio Arts Council and is currently working on a book of his Halloween photographs.
Exhibitions of Savage’s work have been displayed at Ohio State University, Denison University, Otterbein College, The Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery and Ohio University's Kennedy Museum of Art.
His recent exhibition, Were You There? Halloween, Athens, OH: 1980s and More, was featured at Majestic Galleries in Nelsonville.
"I thought it would be timely to show some of this work since participants in the 1980s photographs could be parents of today's OU students," he said.
Slideshow: Athens Halloween in the 1980s
Real Ones, 1986
Savage: "Ruth Dudding attended my Majestic Galleries show, discovered her picture and told me, 'I married the guy in the photo.'"
Blondes Having More Fun
Casting a Spell
Channeling David Lee Roth
Having a Very Good Time
One Too Many, 1987
In Violation, 1985
Only in Athens, 1985
Savage: "Amazing how a shot like this can come together in a matter of seconds."
Miss Halloween, 1986
Sacred, Profane and Innocent
Savage: "The 'Pope' in the photo is now a Lutheran minister."
The Dead Live, 1987