Hundreds gather to celebrate Kent Halloween

Danielle+Attme+keeps+the+line+entertained+outside+of+The+Kent+Stage.+Attme+encouraged+people+to+go+to+local+drag+and+burlesque+shows.

Asha Blake

Danielle Attme keeps the line entertained outside of The Kent Stage. Attme encouraged people to go to local drag and burlesque shows.

The people of Kent were out and about in an array of costumes. Ranging from blow-up shark costumes to the typical vampire, Kent was ready to party.

The lines for the bars went around blocks, and the screams and shouts of excitement could be heard from anywhere.

8-10 p.m.

There were two people dressed as creepy clowns, poking their heads in businesses and standing outside of windows waiting to scare unsuspecting onlookers. 

The streets were filled with people going all sorts of directions, some to the bars, some to the frats and some simply to home.

A group of Kent State students celebrating Halloween in Acorn Alley at around 9 p.m. (Katie Masko)

Taking on a different Halloween celebration, a group was out celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday. The costumes ranged from peanut butter and jelly to Nancy Drew. Emmy Hurr, a freshman special education major, was dressed as Taylor Swift from the “You Belong With Me” music video.

We’re just out celebrating, we came from Barrio, and now we’re going to her house to have fun,” Hurr said.

The frats were beginning to get busy on University Drive around 8 p.m such as Alpha Tau Omega, a fraternity whose annex house is located on University Drive.

Nicholas Paparone, a senior education major, and Jesse Rinehart, a sophomore ASL to English Interpretation major, were gearing up for a great Halloween night. They were ready to have fun with Rinehart as a priest and Paparone as Walter White from the show “Breaking Bad.”

Nicholas Paparone and Jesse Rinehart dress up as Walter White from “Breaking Bad” and a priest for Halloween. (Katie Masko)

“I’m just going to Walter it up and have a great night,” Paparone said. “And you know, maybe save a couple of souls,” Rinehart said.

Another group of college students, after leaving a dinner party, were just ready to go home.

“Listen, I love going out in Kent,” said Kalysta Schepis, a Cleveland State student visiting a friend. “Sometimes I just want to stay in and watch a horror movie, and tonight is one of those nights.”

With the loud music, the flashing lights and the immense variety of costumes, Kent continued the energy throughout the night.

 

Off-campus parties offer a good time

At a house about five minutes off campus, Kent State students hosted one of the many parties happening tonight to celebrate Halloween. 

“It’s 2022 — the first year without too much Covid-19 going on,” Junior history major Andy Garcia said. “This year, we’ve got friends that are soon to be our family.”

This party was one of senior computer science major Stefan Hendricks’ favorite one yet. 

“I’m playing pong, and we’re dressing up,” Hendricks said. “ I am absolutely having a fun time.”

Hendricks, who became friends with Garcia last year, dressed as Jesse Pinkman from “Breaking Bad.” 

Garcia dressed up in a disco costume, complete with bell-bottom pants and a tie-dye top.

Now celebrating the holiday as a grown up, Hendricks reflected on his favorite childhood Halloween memories.

“I was on my way to trick or treating, when I saw a bunch of people who were passing out king-sized candy,” Hendricks said. “ I was so happy to get such a sugar rush, once I got so many king-sized chocolate bars.” 

Hendricks said although he misses trick or treating this year, partying is so fun now that he is 21 years- old. 

“Now, I still think the candy is the most important part,” he said,

Junior finance major Austin Kyle said he enjoyed the time he had hanging out with his friends. 

“Halloween is the greatest holiday there is,” Kyle said. 

10p.m.- midnight

Hundreds of people filled the streets of downtown Kent Saturday night for what many regard as the best time of the year, Halloween weekend. 

“We always come to Kent, it’s great,” said Kelly Clavecilla, a Kent State alum who dressed as a pack of gum with her twin sister, Christy Folden.

 Together they make the return to Kent each year to celebrate Halloween because of the fun people, costumes and cocktails, Clavecilla said. 

The Standing Rock Cultural Arts orginization celebrate their 30th anniversary during the Halloween festivities. (Asha Blake)

While students, alumni, local residents and even visitors from the surrounding area were gathered to celebrate the same night, each person put their own personal twist on the holiday.

In the Hometown Bank Plaza, a drum circle gathered for an event hosted by Standing Rock Cultural Arts that merged the cultural traditions of Día de los Muertos from Mexico and a celebration of the dead from the Luo Tribe in Kenya. Mango, a member of a Kenyan based band known as Kenge Kenge, led those in attendance to the Cuyahoga River where they drummed to free their departed loved ones.

“We brought it together in America because the spirits who are dead, they always still come up and we celebrate together with them, because they still live,” he said. “And the only way we normally send them is to the ocean, that’s where we believe that they are, and by my traditional drums, once they hear that music, they get out of the sea.” 

Others in downtown Kent found themselves partaking in a different kind of spirit. Lines for bars stretched the city blocks with many expecting to wait for more than an hour. 

@kentwired Happy Halloween Flashes! Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Kent this Halloweekend. 🎃 #kentwired ♬ original sound – KentWired

“In two hours it’ll be like eleven or midnight, so we have at least two and half more hours after that,” said Julianna Mankamyer, a senior exercise science major who was not phased by the more than one hundred person line to get into Barflyy.

At Brewhouse, Matea Milisic, a junior finance major who dressed as an astronaut with her friend Delaney Timoneri, was excited to experience her first Halloween in Kent.

“This is day three and I’ve been having a lot of fun,” Milisic said.

Attendees gather in a line to see “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at The Kent Stage. (Asha Blake)

Another popular activity in downtown Kent was the Kent Stage midnight screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” a 1975 cult classic musical film known for its audience participation and shadow cast performances. Dozens of people dressed in fishnets and corsets lined the outside of the Kent Stage eager for the film’s most anticipated screening of the year. 

Danielle Attme, the founder and director of Rocky Horror in Kent, explained the popularity of the film, which carries a historic following based in LGBTQ+ acceptance and personal liberation.

“Our regular crowd is queer, alternative, needing something to do after midnight and then I think that people really need an outlet for doing that outside of the regular,” she said. “Let’s say that you’re a normie, right? Let’s say you don’t like to do things outside of your comfort zone, I think Halloween has always been that excuse and I think Rocky Horror is just one of those magnetized places that attracts that and I think people who normally don’t do this kind of stuff end up being like, ‘wow, maybe I should do this more.’”

Away from the glam of downtown bars were the more heavily policed fraternity parties, where students walked up and down streets all evening hoping to be admitted into the popular parties.

“Every single fraternity is going to be at capacity,” said Zachary Shedlock, who worked the door for Delta Tau Delta as people gathered around him and shouted in an attempt to be let in. “I knew we were about to hit capacity like right away and once I started people flooded in. We have someone inside who’s really watching the house, making sure that it’s never too crowded and we’re just really making sure that we don’t overfill this house so everyone inside is safe.”

Another fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, faced the same problem of ensuring everyone enjoyed their night while also staying safe. 

“Everything’s about keeping it under control,” said Matt Kress, who kept people from attempting to enter their Hallowen party without permission. “We’re trying to make sure it’s a controlled environment that we can have fun in.”

Midnight – 2 a.m.

The fun continued late into the night. Until 2 a.m., Main Street was flooded with festive partygoers in honor of Halloween. 

Junior environmental and conservation biology major, Brooke Kollar, and senior environmental and conservation biology major, Alex Smearman, went as self proclaimed, “Sexy Birdwatchers.” 

“To make a long story short, we went to the national bird festival in Toledo and,” Smearman said. “Then we saw a yellow rumped warbler and he asked me out that night,” Kollar said, finishing Smearman’s sentence.  

Junior fashion design major Abby Wilson said she was inspired by Jack Sparrow for her pirate costume this year and loves Kent’s Halloween for its originality. 

“As a fashion school, we dress up a lot,” Wilson said. 

Jimmy Tribuzzo, owner of Brew House and Brew Down, revealed that his costume was inspired by his employees this year. “I’m dressed as Gru because my bartenders are minions,” said Tribuzzo. “I had the mask on and everyone loved it.”

When the clock hit 2 a.m., the bars played its typical “closing time” song, rang the “last call” bell and people poured out into the streets to go home, or to their choice of post-going out food.

Genevieve Krejci is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

Isabella Schreck is a sports editor. Contact her at [email protected]

Alton Northup is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]

Jenna Bal is a campus editor. Contact her at [email protected].