Ohio University is nestled in the rolling hills of Appalachian Ohio, a 90-minute drive southeast from the state’s capitol, Columbus. With an approximate student population of 23,000, Athens, Ohio, is the quintessential college town. However, unlike so many other college towns in the good ole U.S. of A., Athens is home to one very unique thing: the nation’s #1 Party School. While Ohio University’s alcoholic assets could easily span the entire Internet, below is a compiled and heavily condensed list of 10 reasons why Ohio University reins supreme. Read on, and then bow down to the Bobcats:
10. Court Street
The red bricks that define Ohio University are famous, and Court Street is chockablock full of them. .51 miles lined by 23 bars, Court Street is the one stop shop for drunken escapades of an absurd and often ungodly nature. Various bars offer weeknight specials, including Tuesday 50¢ draft night at Pawpurrs and Wednesday $5 Liquor Pitchers at Lucky’s. You don’t have to be rich (or even 21) to enjoy Court Street and all its glory; you just have to be thirsty. For the hungry drunks, Court Street is also home to some of the best restaurant options in the state of Ohio and most likely the world. Whether it’s Big Mama’s, Munch Box, or Tornado Potato, Court Street rarely disappoints.
9. Bong Hill
According to the dictionary definition of “pilgrimage,” the hike to Bong Hill is a religious journey to a sacred place that every Ohio University student must travel before graduation. The climb to Bong Hill costs approximately 35 minutes of a Sunday afternoon, but the expedition is always worth the amazing views of Athens and beloved OU. Bong Hill is appropriately named for all the ponderous potheads who frequent its slopes, eager to catch an extra-special and hangover-relieving high.
8. Green Beer Day
As the Ohio University students love to announce, “Anything Miami Can Do, We Can Do Better.” That being said, after Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, began its annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition, Ohio University seized that party opportunity for its own. Now, OU observes Green Beer Day on the second Wednesday of each March with tinted beer and a plethora of cop horses. When the $2.50 pitchers of green beer begin flowing before noon, the Ohio University students flock to the bars for the day, regardless of prior commitments, class, or work obligations.
7. Win Or Lose, Bobcats Booze
When Ohio University declared its first “Bobcat Blackout” football game, the irony did not go ignored by students. Ohio University does not, and has never claimed to have the best athletic teams in the nation, but that doesn’t hinder the students from cheering like they do. Regardless of each game’s outcome, Ohio University students take advantage of any situation to celebrate their athletically gifted counterparts, and to treat each loss like it’s still a personal victory. Chants of “win or lose, Bobcats booze,” can be heard late into the night on Court Street after each sporting event, and abundant shots for the fallen Bobcats flow freely.
6. Welcome Weekend
If it’s not already apparent, Ohio University students throw parties paralleled by none, and when the freshmen Bobcats move to town, there’s no better occasion to celebrate. Thousands of upperclassmen flood from front porches, inviting the rookies to shoot free shots of vodka and chug cheap cans of beer. It’s an initiation, so to speak, a whirlwind experience that goes down in OU history for each freshman on that first Friday night.
Nobody does Homecoming like Ohio University does Homecoming. Kegs and Eggs typically begin at 5 a.m., only to be followed by an entire 24 hours of day drinking and frequenting the bars lining Court Street. The Bobcat network is unbeatable, so obviously any type of reunion requires a very boozy bash. 2013’s Homecoming proved especially notorious when two students went viral on the Internet and social media for openly performing sexual acts in the most populated area of uptown Athens. A scandal? Perhaps. But it wasn’t really a surprise.
4. Fest Season
When Ohio University still adhered to the “Quarter System,” spring in Athens was synonymous with Fest Season. Since the switch to semesters, Spring Quarter has disappeared, but the Fest Season remains even more prevalent than ever. Each Ohio University student has a personal favorite fest, and with six to choose from, the opportunities are endless. Milliron Street, Mill Street, High Street, Palmer Place, Palmer Street, and the #Fest attract thousands of Ohio University students to the hundreds of kegs and liquor bottles practically spilling from each house party during Fest Season.
3. The #Fest
Although technically included in the Fest Season lineup, the #Fest at Ohio University deserves a unique recognition of its own. Established in 2004, the #Fest has grown to become the biggest and best Collegiate Musical Festival in America, and is lovingly nicknamed “The Coachella of Ohio.” In recent years, the #Fest has garnered prevalent performers such as Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Machine Gun Kelly, and Mike Posner, to name just a few. At just $30 per ticket and with the BYOB culture, the #Fest is an affordable day of muddy and drunken entertainment for the entire crowd – approximately 20,000 annual attendees.
A college student has not experienced Halloween until they’ve experienced Halloween at Ohio University. For the annual Block Party, the city of Athens closes Court Street and various musicians swarm the scene, performing for the costume-clad partiers. Overnight, the university population can double, with 20,000-30,000 guests, rendering Halloween in Athens the nation’s #2 largest block party after Mardi Gras. The arrests have ranged from 50-200 in recent years – but regardless, students are not deterred; the Halloween Block Party has merely continued to grow.
1. The Bobcat Attitude
When all is said and done, it’s not Court Street, or the #Fest, or Homecoming or even Halloween that makes Ohio University the #1 Party School in the United States of America: it’s the Ohio University students. There’s a specific personality that’s prevalent in Athens, Ohio, one that’s carefree yet enthusiastic about all that life has to offer. Bobcats turn every mundane occasion into a party, and always find an excuse to exorbitantly celebrate the small stuff. They’re not afraid to dress in reindeer and snowflake encrusted onesies for Santa Fest, or to dance like it’s 1999 during Aaron Carter’s free concert on South Green. Ohio University students recognize that college is a sacred four (or five) years filled with perfect people, and exciting adventures best accompanied by cold beers. Whether you love them, hate them, or love to hate them, the Bobcats will party on.
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