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The history of Fest Season at Ohio University and Athens Ohio

Springtime in Athens means flowers, fun and fests. If you are living in a Mill Street rental or an uptown Athens apartment, you likely have experienced fest season. But did you know that the Ohio University used to host its own fests? And did you know how the recent fest season got started? Here is some information on the legendary fest season in Athens Ohio, and how it affects the Athens rentals.

Athens has been the home to spring concerts and parties for decades. In the 1960s, Ohio University hosted spring concerts on the intramural fields near Mill Street. Over the years, the concerts turned into major events. In the 1980s, the Ohio University Springfests were legendary. Held at the intramural fields near Mill Street, the Springfests attracted national acts to perform. Local acts also took the stage, and audience members were able to drink alcohol at the events.

The Athens rentals on Mill Street, Palmer Street apartments and other nearby apartments also hosted their own parties around Springfest.
Ohio University alumni from the 1980s fondly recall the Springfest parties with kegs of beer and large crowds of people. And it all was an official university event held just off of Mill Street in Athens Ohio. The university also held different “fests” for the greens on campus. In addition, apartments on High Street and other student rentals in Athens also held parties.

The change in the drinking age changed Fest Season

When the drinking age changed in the late 1980s, the university’s policy toward alcohol also changed significantly. Most students were under the age to drink legally, so the university no longer sold alcohol at the Springfests. Alcohol sales also ended at other university events at that time, too.
When this writer arrived on campus in 1988, in fact, the university was changing Springfest and other events considerably. Those changes were made in order to respond to the new drinking age for its students.

The university still held Springfests, but they were not as popular. In 1990, the Marshall Tucker Band played at Springfest. It was a nationally-known group, but Sprinfest was not the same any longer. You can see photos of the Marshall Tucker Band performance, along with a few other Springfests at this webpage.

After that, the legendary Springfests came to a close, but the new era of Fest Season was about to begin.

To learn more about Fest Season in Athens, Ohio, read part two of this article, coming soon.

To learn more about the best apartments for rent and most affordable Athens Ohio housing, contact our staff members today.

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