Large Amish party leads to 73 arrests

Police raid Amish party in Ohio field, arrest 73 people

MILLERSBURG - It was a massive Amish party, and a record-setting bust, according to Holmes County Sheriff Tim Zimmerly.

Seventy three people arrested in all, including 35 juveniles, were arrested for underage drinking.

It happened in Millersburg in Holmes County.

The village which is about 78 miles south of Cleveland.

It was a "rumspringa" party.

Rumspringa is a rite of passage when Amish teens take some time from tradition to be more "worldly" and explore things outside of their simple living.

It’s a time to "dress in normal clothes and party or mingle", but police put the kabosh on minors they say were breaking the law on Saturday night.

It happened at the party on a piece of land nestled back off county road 400 in the heart of Amish Country.

It’s several acres of Clarence White's rustic corner of the world.

On Tuesday, it still had the littered telltale signs of an epic party on Saturday.

"There's 1,000 kids here," said White. "The kids ordained me years ago when they first started having parties here as the 'party pope.'" 

White has rented his property for 12 years of parties.

“It's 1,000 kids at $20 a head," he said. "That's  $20,000.  It costs $15,000 for bands, tents, Porta Potties."

It’s all part of the Amish tradition during teen years of experiencing greater freedom.

They come from all over to party here in Holmes County.

"We've got Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York," said White.

He does not condone underage drinking and points out there were plenty of partiers 21 and older.

“There was alcohol being consumed here," he said. "There was a lot of alcohol being consumed here."

The sign out front is very clear: “If you sneak drugs or are underage drinking, the Holmes County Sheriffs Dept welcomes you to jail.”

“Some of those kids I know they took out of here never had a drop," White said. "They weren’t drinkers. The parents drop them off here. The parents pull in and drop their kids off, because they know they're going to be safe."


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