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Students get their spook on for Halloween weekend

Sara House
A long line of people wait to get into Water Street Tavern on Oct. 28, 2023.

Students recover and look ahead

Fraternity houses lay empty the morning after Friday night parties with cans strewn everywhere but nobody to be seen. Still, some go-getter students were up and moving already. 

Zach Stritchco, a student visiting Kent, said he enjoyed the environment of the university. 

“There were people out and walking around, it was a good atmosphere,” he said.

Zach Stritchco and friends recovered from a night out in Dunkin’ on Oct. 28, 2023. (Kate Karelina)

Stritchco recommended people get coffee to cure their hangovers from the weekend. Students could be seen funneling into Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and The Cleveland Bagel Café to help them wake up. 

Kalynn Berringer, a freshman psychology major, was doing work in the Cleveland Bagel Café and wondered about the empty campus. 

“I was walking here and I was like where is everybody,” Berringer said. 

Berringer is a figure skater who performed at the Hockey Game Halftime show. She watched many of the Friday night partygoers after the game. 

“I was walking back at 11 from a restaurant and there were already people down for the count,” she said. 

Berringer said she was excited to see Halloween weekend at Kent for the first time after hearing about its reputation. 

“I’ve heard before I got here that it was really good,” Berringer said. “I heard that Halloween was like the biggest thing. It seems good, I hope the people are safe and okay.”

Karsen Damon, a junior speech pathology major and Andy Hackett, a junior visual communication design major urge students to stay safe as they prepare for the night ahead. 

“No open containers, that goes for every weekend,” Hackett said. 

They also said to be aware of who you’re with and what you drink from. The two stayed in Friday night but plan to go out tonight and said it was surprising to see no one out Saturday morning. 

“Honestly I think because of Homecoming last weekend, I think the back-to-back was too much,” Damon said. “I know a lot of people didn’t go out last night because of that because they were still recovering. It’ll be crazy tonight.” 

Andrew Bowie is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

Businesses prepare for the Saturday night crowd 

As the day continues on, businesses downtown get ready for the busy night ahead. Many prepare by making sure products are stocked and having extra staff on hand. 

Mike D’Alessandro, a manager at Ray’s Place, was surprised at the turnout last night and is preparing for an even busier night tonight. 

“Usually it’s always a Saturday celebration, last night almost everybody was dressed up,” D’Alessandro said. “I don’t remember a Friday going into a Saturday quite like that before.” 

D’Alessandro is expecting the crowd to be similar to those prior to COVID-19. 

“This year, so far all the holidays have been spot on,” D’Alessandro said. “We’re expecting it to be the typical thousands of people downtown.”     

Businesses such as Panini’s Bar and Grill are embracing the Halloween spirit by allowing staff members to dress up. 

Jacob Klemm, a manager at Panini’s, dressed in a full Spiderman costume as he worked his shift at the restaurant.

Jacob Klemm, manager of Panini’s showcases his Halloween spirit on Oct. 28, 2023. (Brittany Lucia)

“I started here last year and I know how busy it got,” Klemm said. “We have the most amount of servers, expos, cooks, everything that we could to prepare for the weekend.”  

Klemm gets super excited about Halloween, for him it’s the one day a year where he can dress up and be weird without judgment. 

Matt Guska, manager at 157 Lounge, got to the bar early Saturday to clean and get ready for the night crowd. 

“It’s nice to do some more business during the holiday and it’s also nice to see more people that you normally wouldn’t,” Guska said. “But also I like our regular Kent State crowd because you know what to expect.”

Guska said he is excited for the staff to dress up and create a bond during the fun holiday. 

Insomnia Cookies also made accommodations to prepare for the weekend. 

John Lorinchack, the assistant manager at Insomnia Cookies, said the store is making sure enough cookies are baked throughout the night with extra staff.

“We try to make sure that everyone is on their A-game,” Lorinchack said. “Making sure everyone is prepared for a storm to come in at any time.” 

Insomnia is running a promotion where anyone who comes in dressed in costume gets a free cookie, but Lorinchack has not had anyone take advantage of the promotion yet. 

Guska finds it fun to see the different costumes in the bar throughout the night. One of the most memorable is when a group showed up to the bar dressed as the Flintstones with the Flintstones car.

Waiters at Ray’s Place don costumes for Halloween Weekend on Oct. 28, 2023. (Brittany Lucia)

“They parked the car outside,” Guska said. “And then in the morning, the car was still out front. They were trying to bring it inside and I had to tell them no, you have to leave it outside.” 

For D’Alessandro, Halloween is a fun weekend for him working at Ray’s Place. 

“I like the festivities of certain holidays,” D’Alessandro said. “Just making it seem like something else is going on other than a typical Saturday night in a restaurant is fun.”

Adrianna Quinlan is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

Packed parties continue on

From frat parties to waiting in long lines for the bars, the streets in downtown Kent come alive for Halloween weekend. 

Aaron Neil, a junior political science major in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, said their parties have been growing in size as the years progress.

“We actually haven’t even really opened yet, but we already have a packed house,” Neil said. “It was really big last year and it’s even bigger this year.”

Outside of a party hosted by Delta Tau Delta on Oct. 28, 2023. (Sara House)

David Moore, captain of the Kent Fire Department, said there has been an increase in calls the past two nights. 

“I think it was 13 calls after eleven o’clock last night, 25 total for the whole shift, so that’s a pretty busy day for us,” Moore said. “Then tonight I think we are at five so far since we came in at eight.” 

Moore said that despite the busy night, the volume of calls has decreased, but they are prepared.

“The number of calls has gone down, but we still staff up,” Moore said. “All of our people come in off duty. We pay everybody overtime that is off to come in and staff the station to make sure that we have enough people here to take care of the calls.” 

Safety is also a primary concern among first responders. Moore said while it is about having fun, individuals also need to stay safe. 

“Just tell people to be safe, have fun,” Moore said. “This is regardless if it’s Halloween or not, always walk home with a friend or somebody. We always see people walk alone by themselves and that’s just not a good thing to do on those nights for safety.” 

It is not just first responders that are concerned about safety. 

Neil said the fraternity is also taking precautions throughout the night.

“We just try to keep ours as safe as possible,” Neil said. “We don’t let in a lot of random people, we just try to keep the party contained.”

Harrison Fisher and Mariah Billock walk around downtown Kent dressed as The Princess and the Frog on Oct. 28, 2023. (Sara House)

Despite being safe, individuals are still able to go out and have fun.

Harrison Fisher, dressed as a frog, said he came downtown to make some people smile, walk around and get a little exercise. 

Tanya Titus, dressed as one of the Three Blind Mice, said seeing everyone dressed up and the liveliness of the university brought her downtown tonight. 


MinJee Yoo is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Andrew Bowie, Reporter
Andrew is a general assistant reporter at KentWired and a second-year Communication Studies major. He hopes to improve his writing skills here and deepen his understanding and connection with writing. He likes learning about people, and he always finds himself so impressed at all the things people can do – which is why he enjoys writing about them. "Ask me stuff, ask me to do stuff, ask me for help even though I don't know much yet. I'll probably say yes!" he says. Contact him at [email protected]
Adrianna Quinlan, Reporter
Adrianna is a sophomore journalism major and a general assignment reporter. This is her first semester with Kent Wired. She is excited to write stories that are interesting and important to students. Adrianna is also a Morale Captain for KSU Flashathon and works with first-year students as a Peer Success Mentor.
Contact her at [email protected]

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