Around 10:50 p.m. on Jan. 23, the power went out in Rexburg and surrounding areas. By 11 p.m., students had flooded the street outside NorthPoint, forming a dance circle in the middle of the W 2nd S and S 1st W intersection.
What followed was two hours of chaos with multiple police cars on the scene to handle the roughly 300 students that had arrived. Most people stood around watching the pandemonium, though the dance party continued for most of the power outage.
“I love this kind of thing,” said Caitley Neider, a freshman studying elementary education. “I’m happy this happened. I hope nobody gets hurt tonight but I love this.”
Toilet paper was thrown over trees and street signs, and people watched from surrounding balconies as fireworks were set off periodically, sometimes thrown within a few feet of bystanders.
Several students on a balcony began screaming out Queen songs to the people below.
“People go crazy when the lights are out,” said Larissa Poll, a junior studying health psychology. “I feel like it’s great to have a little fun, but you have to keep your head on straight about it. If you’re going to be disrespectful, that’s when that line has been crossed.”
A man set off a roman candle in the middle of a crowd and was detained by police. He was later released with a warning.
“He was in the middle of a mosh pit, and he had fireworks and he was lighting them and the cop decided to get him,” said Marcus Richards, a freshman studying communication. “He didn’t want that so he tried to run but didn’t get too far.”
At one point, a car drove by the crowd, spraying them with a fire extinguisher which Richards said “tasted very bad”.
Power began to return to apartment complexes by 1 a.m.