Cold And Rain Put Slight Damper On Palmerfest

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In years past, Palmerfest gained a considerable reputation for house parties that get out of control and behavior that included lighting couches on fire and even a house a few years ago. However, this year's Palmerfest Saturday was dampened by cold and rain.

Considerably smaller crowds of people showed up for the festivities on Palmer Street in Athens. The takeover began around 11 a.m. as the crowd sporadically built up and diminished throughout the day.

“It’s going well,” said Commander David Malawista of the Athens Police Department. “It’s still just like any other fest.”

People dressed as bananas, LMFAO, sports fans and outfits portraying American pride in bright colors. 

Although warm temperatures never made an appearance, partiers were not deterred in their goal of taking over front lawns, porches and balconies as DJs played hip-hop and techno. The rain continued to fall onto the fray, but partiers didn’t seem to care as they continued to dance on railings and visit each house in jerseys, shorts and rain jackets.

It “was freezing but it’s Palmer,” said Bobby Levine, a sophomore at Ohio University.

Only a few of the wet and shivering attendees found their way into handcuffs. According to a news release, Athens, Ohio University and Ohio Investigative unit police officers arrested a total of 33 people. The majority of arrests were alcohol-related, with one being a drug-related felony.

“I think it went as well as it could. It was just a different type of Palmerfest,” said Ron Lucas, they city’s deputy service-safety director. “(There were) less (arrests) than what we typically do, but that could be a result of a number of reasons like the low number in attendance and bad weather.”

Partiers’ muddy trek home and later, to the bars, began early as the fest came to an end at 5:30 p.m. after a number of houses were shut down for violating the city’s nuisance party law.

Overall, braving the rain and cold temperatures seemed to be worth it for many Bobcats.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Tony Dicesare, a senior at Ohio University. “I’m sick now because of it, but it was worth it.”