City of Madison and campus officials agreed the 2013 Mifflin Street Block Part was milder than the party has been in recent years, with no major incidents and figures showing record lows in citations and detox transportations.
Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain said no one attending the Mifflin event went to jail and six people at the event were given citations and released. Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the event had fewer than a few dozen citations issued overall, which is significantly lower than the 500 citations issued in 2012.
DeSpain and Verveer both said the number of citations issued was not final. Verveer said for past Mifflin events, police officers visit house parties that are not complying with city ordinances and other laws and then come back later in the week to issue them citations. Verveer said he is unsure if this practice will continue this year, but if it does, it could increase the total number of citations issued.
DeSpain said police officers were sent home early, but MPD will not know how much money the department saved from the expected $190,000 cost of policing the event until MPD finalizes its payroll. Verveer said firefighters and paramedics were also sent home earlier than expected.
DeSpain contrasted Saturday’s event where residents grilled out, had fun and threw frisbees and footballs around with the 2011 event, which was marked by a stabbing and numerous assaults.
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said he spoke with MPD Chief Noble Wray about the event and said they both thought it went well. He said the city and MPD would likely continue to see a few private house parties on the day Mifflin is traditionally held and would continue to watch for underage drinking and public drinking offenses.
“The block party is probably over as we knew it before 2013,” Soglin said.
Soglin said the significant difference between Saturday’s event and previous Mifflin Street Block Party events was the absence of many out-of-town visitors and their “unnecessary” behavior.
Verveer said labor costs make up the vast majority of the cost to police Mifflin. He said Mifflin was very tame this year, which means the cost of the event will be greatly reduced compared to past years, which will bode well for taxpayers in the city.
“There are just too many significant safety concerns over the last few years to allow the city to sanction this annual gathering,” he said. “I hope in the future, Mifflin residents and their friends are able to have a gathering on this traditional day and continue the tradition in a reduced fashion.”
Campus leaders also considered the Revelry Music and Arts Festival, which was held for the first time this year, to be a success.
Sarah Mathews, the Wisconsin Union president, called the event “amazing” and said she is looking forward to future Revelry events.
“People should gear up for Revelry 2014,” Mathews said. “There’s always room for improvement and growth and we’re looking for ways we’d be able to do that.”
University of Wisconsin Police Department spokesperson Marc Lovicott said UWPD had a positive experience working with Revelry organizers and would be happy to work with them in the future to continue the event.
He said the crowd was well-behaved and smaller than Mifflin, which led UWPD to send home some security and police officers early as well.
Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said both events were fairly safe. Resnick said no major incidents happened on Mifflin Street, but said a 19-year-old woman fell off of a balcony on Brooks Street. An MPD statement said she fell from the second floor balcony shortly before 4:30 p.m. and was taken to an area hospital.
Most of the citations issued were for relatively minor violations, he said. Resnick predicted Revelry will grow during the next few years, and house parties will continue to be held during springtime on Mifflin Street.
“I would not say the [Mifflin] event is over, but I would assume the past Mifflin that some upperclassmen are used to is done,” Resnick said.