A fraternity formal is one of the last hoorahs of college for graduating senior. Formals include your typical frat-tivities: heavy drinking, delinquent activities and a formal reception. Frat brothers usually bring dates who gift brothers with decorated coolers, tables or other fraternity memorabilia. At American University, a typical fraternity formal is held at a beach for a few days during the spring semester as a way for brothers to blow off stress before preparing for finals week. Some host their formals as an overnight event at a beach as close as Virginia or as far as North Carolina. Other frats opt to stay in the district whether that’s in a club, a house or even on a boat.
1. Ocean City, MD
Ocean City, a popular beach destination for people in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia), is the perfect place for frat guys to turn up. It earned the nickname Ocean Shitty because of all the shenanigans that take place. Ocean City is a great place to explore with endless cheap souvenir stores. “The real fun resides in the plethora of cheap and easily accessible liquor stores to plunder before the night’s festivities,” AU senior Matthew Bell said. “Provided an adequate hotel with lax security is reserved in advance, Ocean City is ready and willing to be a veritable playground for young adults.”
AU Frats took their talents to OC to have a good time and bond together. Fraternities looking to strike a bargains should definitely look into OC with its cheap accommodations and abundance of amusements and entertainment. Ocean City’s Main Street houses restaurants, bars, mini golf and relatively inexpensive hotels. On the other side there’s plenty of beach with a view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. “I’d be very reluctant to send my family to this hotbed of sin and debauchery, but those are perfect qualifiers for an excellent fraternity formal,” Bell added.
2. Myrtle Beach, NC
Myrtle Beach may be a long way from the DMV, but it’s well worth the drive. The weather is great during formal season. Myrtle Beach serves as home to several popular bars, clubs and restaurants. To show how much fun formal can be, one Duke University fraternity caused $1.2 million dollars of damage forcing the Carolina governor to call in the National Guard. Despite their destructive ways, brothers enjoyed themselves.
While destroying Myrtle Beach is probably not the best idea, Myrtle acts as a good location for blowing off steam and relaxing on the beach while feeling like you are in the Caribbean. Like Ocean City, Myrtle Beach is also a great place to get wasted and have a good time with dates. AEPi conquers this location seeing as how they have gone for the past four years. “There’s also cool stuff to do, but we usually just get wasted on the beach and then have our formal event at a rented-out dive bar with a band,” senior Alex Freedgood said. Whether its renting out a dive bar or strolling the shoreline, partying at Myrtle Beach is a good way to spend a few days with your closest friends.
3. Potomac Cruise, DC
One overlooked formal location runs right through the heart of the DMV. Some fraternities spend their formal nights in a yacht on the Potomac. While a Potomac Cruise may not be the best place to get away with shenanigans, it’s sure to win over the ladies. “It’s was a great time to view our national monuments at night and bring a date to experience it,” junior Justin Rosen said. “Sorority girls love it!” This takes “drunkumenting” (walking around the monuments while drunk) to a whole new level. Now you can look at the monuments at night while turning up on a boat. Sometime during the course of the night you’ll probably be ripping shots while the DJ plays “I’m on a Boat” by Lonely Island. If you are about to puke from being seasick (or, if we’re being honest, from too many drinks), no need to worry: just lean over the edge and pull trig.
4. Virginia Beach, VA
Another popular local beach is Virginia Beach located in–you guessed it–Virginia. This is a clean, family-friendly beach to visit. Live music plays on just about every block beginning at sunset. It also provides beautiful sunset views and a good mix of bars and restaurants. There are several bars, comedy clubs and clubs for the adventurous frat stars. Karaoke is also an option if you are looking for an easy way to break the ice with your date. Virginia Beach can be pricey, but, if you’re willing to spend the extra dollar (or have alumni frat funds pouring into the event), it offers a great time for any fraternity formal event. Junior Brianna Guilerhme went as a date with SigEp and said, “We had dinner at this awesome restaurant. It was super cute and the food was great.” This beach won’t fail to impress dates.
5. The House
One frat formal spot that is constantly overlooked is right here at home. Some frats like to keep things local. This is a perfect idea for frats looking to minimalize costs of travelling. While it may not bathe in the glory of other frat formal locations, the frat house is the right location to set a good impression. “We had close friends and spruced up our place,” junior Pierce Fulkerson said. Having the formal in a frat house means that you can get pretty close to a full turn out as it is close to campus. Should you get too rowdy during formal, you don’t need to worry about passing out or getting into trouble. I can’t guarantee an altercation-free event, but if you’re looking to pass out in your own bed, the house may just be the option for you. While it may not stack up against some of the other locations on this list, it stands as one of the most underrated locations for a frat formal.