Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Halloween: Planners of Mifflin alternative call off ‘unregulated’ party

City officials gave a sigh of relief last night when organizers decided to cancel Saturday’s alternative Halloween party on Mifflin Street.

After about a week of media attention, neighborhood opposition and an hour-long meeting with Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, and Capt. Mary Schauf, the three main organizers called off the event.

“We are thrilled with the students’ decision to reconsider their plan,” Verveer said.


Although students achieved their main goal of making a statement about Freakfest, some said they alienated Mifflin residents in the process.

Although none of the main organizers live on Mifflin, the street was selected because of its association with challenging authority, according to the organizers.

Supporters chalked sidewalks, hung posters and created a Facebook group to attract student attention, which is how students and Mifflin residents first heard about the event.

“I had never heard anything about it until I saw a sign on State Street for it on Wednesday,” Mifflin resident and University of Wisconsin senior Beto McQuade said.

Many residents said they were angry after finding out their street had become the new party location. Residents and city officials feared the violence that occurred in previous years on State Street would happen on Mifflin.

“I understand what [organizers] are trying to do, but I don’t want crazy, drunk people in masks running around my house,” Mifflin resident and UW junior Jacob Ross said.

UW junior and Mifflin resident David Spitz created a petition against the event on Thursday and within two hours of work he received more than 50 signatures and only two refusals.

Even before officially canceling the event, some organizers began to think they had made some errors in planning.

“I do apologize to the residents,” event organizer Alexandra Demitrack said. “It was unfair to them. If anything we should have just advertised it as a ‘boycott State Street’ party.”

Mifflin residents said although the area is famous for its spring block party, a Halloween party was not a good idea. Students said the daylight at the block party would make a big difference in people’s actions and accountability.

“The block party is during the day,” Spitz said. “You can see everyone and know what’s going on. At night, this street is terribly lit.”

Other residents opposed the party because of the unwanted stress, fear of vandalism and potential tickets.

“Dealing with all the stress of Mifflin [Block Party] once a year is enough for me,” Mifflin resident and UW senior Jill Mueller said.

Organizers began planning the event less than two weeks ago in order to offer partygoers a chance to collectively boycott Freakfest.

In past years, as State Street has become more regulated, sponsored and expensive, some UW students have complained the city has gone too far.

“[The Mifflin organizers] feel that Halloween has become too sterile,” Verveer said. “They don’t think Freakfest is a good time.”

Demitrack said the event is another example of students having their freedom taken away.

“The original intention was not about having a huge party, but to show that people are sick of the overbearing regulation and babysitting on State Street,” Demitrack said.

In the coming year, the Mifflin organizers have agreed to work with city officials to make next year’s Freakfest more enjoyable for all students.

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