Despite showers and muddy backyards, more than 3,500 students and visitors descended on Mifflin Street for this year’s rendition of the decades old tradition.
Partying remained relatively calm and relegated to house porches and no closure of the street was needed. Police issued 35 citations as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday with no serious injuries or incidents, Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain said.
At any given time, police estimated there were 3,500 people on Mifflin Street. DeSpain said there were no major incidents, except for the police clearing one balcony due to structural concerns. He said citations were primarily for underage drinking and open containers.
While police had initially predicted increased attendance due to its coincidence with Crazy Legs and the downsizing of Revelry, the crowd seemed smaller than in previous years.
Mifflin resident Payton Hoesly, a University of Wisconsin junior, said the rain and cold probably deterred many would-be attendees from going or staying for long.
The weather tainted what was otherwise a positive experience for many UW students. Ian Haave, UW sophomore, said the rain had made the festivities noticeably more tame and clustered around covered or indoor areas.
While MPD Chief Mike Koval said in a recent blog post that he would work to downsize and eventually end the yearly block party, the police presence was for the most part, indistinguishable from those of previous years.
“Police were definitely here from early on, but I didn’t see them yelling at anyone or anything,” Hoesly said.
Overall, DeSpain said officers were pleased with the crowd’s disposition.