Athens, Ohio Halloween

Every year, Athens, Ohio hosts one of the largest Halloween celebrations in the country to the delight of students, community members, and visitors from around the state and beyond.

Check out our post for insights about the history of Block Party, information on planning, additional festive events, and more!

The History of Athens’s Halloween Block Party

The first instance of Athens’s Block Party was held in 1974 when costumed students took over Court Street for two hours during Halloween night. In the ensuing years, partiers continued to claim the street as their own until an official resolution by the Athens City Council was passed in 1977, closing the street and designating an official Halloween celebration.

Due to a number of arrests for several years, the city council and university distanced themselves from Block Party, though festivities on Court Street were still regularly held. With the event growing in popularity in the 1980s, the City of Athens formally recognized Block Party once more in 1990.

With increased interest in the paranormal and unusual aspects of Athens, particularly the Ridges—the former Athens Lunatic Asylum—and the city’s designation by various publications as among the “most haunted cities in America,” the attention for Halloween Block Party has only continued to grow.

The event has even seen recognition on the big screen, with cult horror film Trick ‘r Treat being set in a fictional Ohio town with a massive Halloween celebration, based on Athens, Ohio!

In recent years, crowds of as many as 30,000 people fill the few city blocks of Court Street. House parties, before, during, and after Block Party, are also hosted all throughout the city and surrounding area.

General Info

Like previous years, 2018 Block Party will be held on the Saturday prior to Halloween, with this year’s event falling on October 27.

  • Traffic on Court Street will be blocked by 6 p.m., allowing partiers to mingle and show off their costumes.
  • Between 2 and 3 a.m., police will begin to clear Court Street, with normal traffic resuming by 6 or 7 a.m. Sunday.

The celebration itself is put on by the Athens Clean and Safe Halloween Committee, which secures funding for musical acts and equipment, works with the city to close streets, and ensures safety measures are put into place. Approximately $90,000 per year is spent on security for the event.

For further information, including updates on what bands will be playing at the north and south stages, be sure to visit the official Athens Halloween homepage and their Facebook page.


For students living within residence halls, one registered guest is permitted per student. There is a charge for your guests, with previous years being $50. If this applies to you, check with your R.A. or university officials to fulfill all requirements.


The Athens County Fairgrounds is one of the main areas for visitors to park, with shuttles running Friday and Saturday from the fairgrounds to campus and vice versa. Previous years have seen a charge of $1 per shuttle and $10 per parked car, both to help offset the costs the city and university accrue each year.

Parking at Ohio University lots is only allowed to those with valid university permits. Failing to observe this rule, or blocking hydrants, alleyways, or driveways, can result in tickets and tows.

Additional parking areas include the Athens City Parking Garage on Washington Street, Athens Middle School, and Wal-Mart, all of which are limited in availability.

If Your Car Is Towed

Contact OU Parking Services at 740-593-1917. The towing companies for University Property are:

  • Autotech – 740-592-1907
  • Curtis Towing – 740-593-7048
  • IBX Towing – 740-592-2494

Taxi Services:

  • Tab’s Taxi – 740-594-8294
  • Athens Cab LLC’s – 740-594-7433 (594-RIDE)
  • Green Cab – 740-594-7336
  • Athens GOTO Cab – 740-590-4686

Additional Information

  • Athens Police Department – 740-593-6606
  • Ohio University Police Department – 740-593-1911
  • Ohio University Parking Services – 740-593-1917
  • OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital – 740-593-5551

Sponsors of Halloween Block Party

Sponsors for the event include a wide variety of local businesses. Be sure to patronize these organizations and companies however you can!

More Athens Halloween Fun

Along with Block Party, there are a variety of other terrific Halloween activities in Athens. These include:

  • Trick-or-Treat – Held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on October 25 in Athens and the nearby city The Plains
  • Uptown Trick-or-Treat – 6:00-7:30 p.m., October 29, held on Court Street and adjoining streets and sponsored by the Athens Uptown Business Association
  • Halloween Parade and Game Night – 7 p.m., October 25, at the Athens Community Center
  • Honey for the Heart Parade – 6 p.m., October 27, on Court Street
  • Honey for the Heart Ball – 7-9 p.m. on October 27
  • Athena Halloween Programming – Community movie theater the Athena will be showing the charming 1991 film The Addams Family beginning October 29
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Lost Flamingo Company, Ohio University’s student-run theatre troupe, will once again be performing/showing the cult classic for the Halloween season. The event will be held on October 12 and 13 at the Union Bar and Grill, with tickets $5 for 21 and up and $7 for under 21. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are only available then. Follow their Facebook page for updates!

Happy Halloween!

We hope you have a fun and safe Athens Block Party, and we hope to see you there!