Tales from a Kent Halloween

“Macho Man” Randy Savage offers fellow Halloween revelers to snap into a Slim Jim during Halloween in downtown Kent on Oct. 31, 2015.

Karl Schneider

6:09 p.m. With the impending promise of costume-clad patrons looming in the near future, the serving staff at Bar 145 in downtown Kent wait in their best get-ups.

“Madness; it’s just going to be super busy,” said Scott Lynch, a bartender at 145.

The wait staff will be busy until about 10:30 p.m., when the Kent Halloweeners will start packing the streets instead of the bars, according to a 145 staffer.

Some Kent State students are also heading downtown earlier than the big crowds.

“We’re just chilling for a second before we have to get to work,” said La’Shawn Brooks, a senior sign language major.

Brooks was hanging out on Water St. with three other friends.

“Some of us are underage, so we’re just walking around downtown,” said Melanie Munroe, a senior Integrated Language Arts major.

7:30 p.m. Halloween enthusiasts are beginning to fill the streets. Jenna Rahnema from Massillon dressed as Wonder Woman and Tim Alltop from Ashland came as the Flash.

 “We didn’t have to worry about parking because she flew here and I ran,” said Alltop.

 This is Rahnema and Alltop’s first time in Kent for Halloween.

 “We’re just going to go bar to bar to see what’s going down,” said Rahnema. “My sister is a student (at Kent State) and she told us that we have to come down.”

 Kent State student Megan Galliher dressed as Red Riding Hood, while her friend came as the Big Bad Wolf. Galliher is an early childhood major at Kent State.

 “We came last year,” said Galliher. “Hopefully we’ll see a lot of really cool costumes. That’s what we love, people who put really cool costumes together.”

 Downtown Kent isn’t just seeing an influx of younger crowds. Crystal Vanderpool and Kathi Billiter, both Kent city residents, came downtown dressed as mother and daughter witches.

 “We usually drive through,” said Vanderpool, “but we decided to come down dressed up this year and walk around.



9:25 p.m. The costumed revelers started coming out in droves despite the light rains. The corner of Main and Water streets is host to dozens of merrymakers, some in costume, others merely people watching.

“This is my first time down here and it’s pretty fascinating,” said Carrie Poon, a junior chemistry major. “We’re waiting for the rest of our friends and then we’re probably going to go out and drink and celebrate.”

Farther down Water street, Zane Lutz, a senior photo illustration major and Olivia Pilon, a John Carrol student, were dressed as Bob Ross and a Happy Bush.

It was the first Kent Halloween for both Lutz and Pilon.

“It’s crazy to see all the costumes,” Lutz said. “We’re just walking around and checking people out.”

In the gazebo on Franklin and Main, Greg Janik and Erik Walter entertain the various visitors of downtown with music.

“(Janik) rented the gazebo for the night just so he could be here and entertain the passerbys,” said Maria Walter.

Erik Walter is in the middle of the gazebo, dressed in all black, with a bowler’s hat and skeleton face paint.

Around 9:20, police officers dressed in full SWAT uniforms began patrolling the streets. They steadily move in large circles around the blocks.

11:25 p.m.  The lines are getting longer at each bar, the patrons are getting louder; it’s definitely Kent Halloween now.

A group of three recent Kent State graduates is waiting in a line for Bar 145. Two are a couple, and the third, Cassie Wells, is dressed as a third wheel.

“I’m always their third wheel,” said Wells. “They’re a couple and they always ask me to come along, so I’m always the third wheel.”

The rain hasn’t kept the party out of the night. Though the streets shine with the recent rainfalls, the lines get longer and longer.

“These people are going to show up rain or shine,” said Marie Smith of Kent.

Bar 145 offers their guests a fire pit outside on their patio. Taylor Walls, a third-year psychology student at Kent State is there with a group of her friends.

“We’re just out here looking for a good time,” said Walls. “I know there’s going to be a lot of trouble, but we’re going to stay away from it and have a good time.”

Like most others, Taylor isn’t bothered by the rain.

“It’s definitely a bummer, but everyone is going to get drunk and ignore it.”

Down the road on Main St. another group, sans costume, waits in the long line for the 157 bar.

“We’re just down here to chill and drink,” said Marquez Middleton.

“Honest, old-school fun,” said Middleton’s friend, Aaron Roach.

Down on Main Street, the Kent Stage hosts live shows throughout the night right outside of their doors. People stop and watch the shows for a bit before travelling on down to join the crowds closer to Franklin.

12:05 am – Kent Police confirmed an unnamed man fell off the bridge on Main Street.

“The man fell on the tracks and broke his leg,” said Kent City Police Lt. J. K. Ennemoser.  “A friend had left him there and he was using his phone. When the friend came back (to the tracks) he couldn’t see his friend.”

The man who fell had tried contacting his friend after he fell onto the tracks.

Kent City Police contacted CSX railroad to stop all trains from coming down where the man had fallen, according to Lt. Ennemoser.

Kent Fire and Rescue were able to pull the man off the tracks.

1:42 am – With lines wrapped around street corners and rowdy revelers running across the streets, the rain was no match for Halloween celebrations.

Loren Kelly, 26, a Kent city resident, or towney as he preferred, was glad to see everyone having a good time.

“It’s a great thing having this in our town,” Kelly said.  “I’m happy about all the young people having fun here. It’s a good thing.”

Kelly was waiting on the corner of Main and Water streets for the crowd to be “dispersed like clock-work.”

It was his seventh Halloween in downtown Kent. “Police have a point being here,” he said. “It gets a little out of hand.”

Olivia Moe, from Oberlin, was headed back to her friend’s house after bar-hopping all night. 

“We’re probably going back to play some cards,” she said.