Annual party-goers enjoy College Fest


Police move through the crowds of College Fest, keeping the peace throughout the day. Photo by Philip Botta.

Regina Garcia Cano & Taylor Rogers

Students littered College Avenue on Saturday as part of the annual College Fest block party. Police presence was visible throughout the day.

The young crowd amounted to thousands and was a mix of students and visitors. Party-goers filled streets with empty beer cans, bottles and cigarette butts.

Officers from the Sheriff Department, Kent City, Kent State and Brimfield Township paced College Avenue, clearing crowds from the street and ushering them on to lawns. Police wore riot gear; some carried pepper ball guns and zip-tie handcuffs. Two police box trucks were stationed in the parking lot of the City Council offices along South Depeyster Street.

During the day, some people converted a muddy hill into a slide, played beer pong and corn hole. People accumulated, with some sitting on the roofs of homes along the street. Throughout the day, police asked those walking on the street to dump the contents of their cans or bottles.

But police remained friendly with the crowd — some posed for photos with passers-by and suggested they remain safe. Officers broke some parties when the crowd had accumulated to hundreds of people. By nighttime, certain houses had up to 300 people on the front lawns.

On multiple occasions, the crowd tossed beer cans and bottles in the direction of police officers, who responded by flashing their lights on the partiers.

At 10:30 p.m., undercover officers were seen on the 300 block of the Avenue. The smell of beer and marijuana permeated the air.

At around 11:50 p.m., police began ushering the crowd east on College Avenue toward Lincoln Street and discouraged them from walking toward State Route 59. By 1 a.m., the street had been cleared of people and officers.

A police dispatcher said he did not have an estimate of the number of arrests.

Megan Wilkinson contributed to this report.