A block party known in the past for its crowds and cops was quieter this year.
As people filed down the sidewalks of Chittenden Avenue Saturday and made their way into house parties for “Chittshow,” a street-wide block party, Columbus Division of Police officers were on just about every corner. However, one sergeant said they weren’t expecting the chaos of the prior block parties because of a calmer crowd.
In 2013, though less people were arrested than in prior years, a Columbus Police commander told The Lantern at the time pepper spray was used at two events – Chittshow and Woodfest, another OSU block party on Woodruff Avenue – to control crowds.
During Fall Semester 2013, a block party called “Ratchitt” was held on Chittenden Avenue. It resulted in about five arrests and one possible use of pepper spray.
In 2012, The Lantern reported that two people were arrested at Woodfest and one person was arrested at Chittshow. The 2012 arrests included one OSU student.
Columbus Police Sgt. Robert Forsythe said he didn’t see a potential issue with crowd control this year.
“We’re just trying to keep everybody safe and making sure that everybody has a good time and nobody gets hurt,” he said Saturday night.
Patrolling on horseback, Forsythe said the calmer crowd might have been a result of a larger police presence. He said the horses some officers were riding, however, weren’t scaring people away.
“They’re always an attraction,” Forsythe said about the horses. “Being on a horse, you can see a lot more down on the ground, so we just want to keep an eye on everybody, and make sure everybody is moving.”
Columbus Police representatives did not immediately respond to requests for the number of attendees or arrests Sunday afternoon.
A Facebook event called “CHITTSHOW 2014” said a second part of the block party is scheduled to take place next weekend. A total of 907 people of about 1,600 invited had indicated that they planned to attend as of Sunday evening.
CJ Reckner, a first-year in sports industry who attended Chittshow Saturday, said the night wasn’t what he expected it to be.
“I didn’t really see anything super crazy. I saw people getting talked to by cops, but I didn’t see anyone get arrested. I would say it was relatively calm, more calm than I expected it to be,” he said Sunday. “It was good that it was calm. I still had a good time.”
He said he plans to attend next weekend’s Chittshow as well.
“I’ll definitely go out to that one,” Reckner said.
Some partygoers said this year’s event was less crowded than usual.
“I’ve been the past two years, it was great,” said Emma Nelson, a visiting partygoer from Ohio University. “The whole street was literally packed (in 2012). You couldn’t even walk down the street.”