Were You There? Athens Halloween in the 1980s

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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.

Savage’s work may be viewed at A preview of his forthcoming book Halloween by Savage (Conceptual Images) is available at