Though business around its Library Mall ticket booth might look anything but booming, the Madison Parks Department has distributed more than 3,000 tickets for this year's Halloween celebration.
Three thousand tickets may not seem like many in a city of more than 200,000, but the parks department said so far, their expectations for sales have been right on target.
Laura Whitmore, community relations coordinator for the parks department, said the Library Mall ticket booth sells between 150 and 200 tickets each day. So far, she added, 900 of the tickets distributed so far were free, intended for those who live or work on State Street.
"We have distributed 3,000 tickets through selling or to people that live or work on State and are getting a free ticket," Whitmore said. "We are still two weeks out, and we're trying to encourage everyone to buy a ticket in advance."
The Parks Department hopes to keep selling more tickets until the night of the event, Whitmore said, though they realize it is probably an unrealistic goal to sell all of them. However, she also said partygoers who do not want to wait in line should not hold off until the last minute.
"We would like to sell the majority of the tickets before the event in order to reduce the lines the night of the event," Whitmore said. "As we get closer, we hope people will think to get their tickets in advance."
And Whitmore said the biggest advantage to buying tickets in advance will be increased access points to State Street Oct. 28.
Tickets will be sold on Oct. 28 beginning at 1 p.m. at four locations along State Street, Whitmore added, and those who have not yet purchased tickets will be limited to those entrance points. A site map of ticket booths and entrances is available at www.halloweenmadison.com.
Marie Warner, a Parks Department employee working in the Library Mall ticket booth Monday night, said a large portion of the ticket sales so far have gone to University of Wisconsin underclassmen. Warner also said while some students are taking advantage of the four-ticket limit, there has been no notable trend in terms of the quantity of tickets students are buying.
And while the Parks Department says ticket sales are going as expected, Halloween Action Committee founder Tom Wangard said the sales thus far have exceeded his expectations. According to Wangard, buying a ticket the night of the event will not be too much of a hassle, especially since the city is trying to make the process as smooth as possible.
"Everything is coming together really well," he added. "We have almost everything lined up, and we're just working on getting the message out."