Athens Block Party To Feature Expanded Costume Contest

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Organizers of the 39th annual Athens Halloween Block Party are encouraging guests to get creative with their costumes as this year’s event will feature an expanded costume contest.

The block party will be held Saturday evening on Court Street.

During Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl’s press conference on Tuesday, Athens Clean and Safe Halloween Committee member Jonathan Holmberg said that a costume contest will be held in the parking lot between Attractions and Lucky’s on Court Street from 8-10 p.m.

Multiple DJs will also be performing on the stage beginning at 6 p.m.

“We’re expanding this part of the programming because I think a lot of kids who put time and energy into their costumes every Halloween don’t really get as appreciated as they should,” Holmberg said. “This way we’re going to try to focus more on costuming and get really good, creative minds together and make it a real positive promotion for us and the city as well.”

According to Holmberg, there will be more than $700 in cash and prizes given away during the contest in six categories.

In addition to the costume stage, there will be two music stages set up on Court Street — the north stage at Court and State (near the BP gas station) and the south stage at Court and Union. Each stage will feature four bands performing an hour long set apiece.

Entertainment on the north stage will include Manitoa at 7:30 p.m., Holy Spicoli at 9 p.m., Dave Rave at 10:30 p.m. and Boomslang at midnight. The south stage will offer music by DadArm at 8 p.m., Uptowne Buddha at 9:30 p.m., Burning River Ramblers at 11 p.m. and Jones for Revival at 12:30 a.m.

Although costumes are highly encouraged for the event, Holmberg also advised guests to dress for the cold weather as temperatures are expected to dip into the 30s on Saturday night.

Whether you’re an Ohio University student, Athens native or an out-of-town guest, Holmberg said block party participants should respect the Athens community during the event.

“Be on your best behavior and give OU and the city of Athens a positive light. I think Halloween gives us an opportunity for our community to show how to handle an event like that where a lot of towns wouldn’t know what to do. We pretty much have a good plan in order here,” he said.

Wiehl added, “Have fun but also be safe. Respect your neighbor and respect each other as you party.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Wiehl and OU President Roderick McDavis issued a joint statement regarding the block party.

“The City of Athens and Ohio University strongly encourage our residents and their visitors to be safe, civil, and smart during the upcoming Halloween festivities. Throughout the weekend, residents should expect an increased law enforcement presence, and officials will be strict in their enforcement,” the statement said.

The two thanked OU faculty, staff, students and city employees and residents who will be volunteering their time this weekend to ensure a safe community.

“We ask all residents and visitors to exercise caution, responsibility, and intelligent decision making as we celebrate our community. And we urge everyone to report any suspicious activities to the police or another appropriate authority.”

The two concluded, “Thank you for your collective efforts toward promoting conduct reflective of our unique and cherished community.”

Both the city and OU will have dozens of volunteers patrolling the party area and adjoining neighborhoods to assist guests who may become lost, need police or medical assistance, or identify hazards. The city has formed safety teams and OU volunteers are participating in “green jackets” groups.

In addition to volunteer groups providing assistance to guests, the city will operate an information center at 31 S. Court St. at the former Woolworth’s building.

Athens Halloween Block Party entertainment schedule

North Stage (Court and State)

7:30 p.m. Manitoa

9 p.m. Holy Spicoli

10 p.m. costume contest winners announced

10:30 p.m. Dave Rave

12 a.m. Boomslang

South Stage (Court and Union)

8 p.m. DadArm

9:30 p.m. Uptowne Buddha

11 p.m. Burning River Ramblers

12:30 a.m. Jones for Revival