Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Several thousand people attend Mifflin Block Party despite COVID-19 restrictions

‘Any students found to have violated laws, public health orders or campus policies may face university disciplinary action,’ UW spokesperson says
Katie Cooney

Several thousand people attended the Mifflin Street Block Party on Saturday despite warnings issued prior to the gathering by law enforcement.

At the beginning of April, the City of Madison sent a letter to Mifflin Street residents detailing COVID-19 public health restrictions and ordinances MPD said they would “strictly enforce” if a gathering occurred. 

Online organizers promote Mifflin Block Party despite MPD, UW warnings

The most recent public health order reduced restrictions on outdoor gatherings, according to Public Health Madison & Dane County’s website. While there are no caps on the size of outdoor gatherings, social distancing and masks are still required under the emergency order. 


Several videos shared on social media show individuals not wearing masks and breaking social distancing protocols. At least two cars were damaged during the event — individuals launched GoFundMes for the damages and shared them on social media, with one raising over $4,000 for repairs.

PHMDC communications coordinator Morgan Finke said the department hopes the party does not result in a spike in cases. Finke said they cannot speak on the enforcement of ordinances and public health orders at the event. 

Out of several thousand participants, only four people were arrested at the gathering. In an email statement to The Badger Herald, Madison Police Officer Gracia Rodriguez said officers cited and released those four individuals after transporting them back to the station.

MPD warns students against attending, hosting Mifflin Street Block Party

Rodriguez said officers at the gathering had the option of citing and releasing individuals on the scene, so MPD is working to determine the final number of citations.

“Officers working the event investigated the damage to property that has been circulating social media. Parties involved have been identified,” Rodriguez said. “The investigation is ongoing. We are also working on other reports of damage to property.”

Rodriguez said they are not responding to interview requests at this time, and MPD will update the incident report once they have gathered more information. 

Additional video footage posted to Badger Barstool’s Instagram page shows MPD officers participating in what appears to be a game of beer die.

The UW BIPOC Coalition, Wisconsin State Assembly Rep. Francesca Hong, D-Madison, and several other critics on social media pointed this out as a stark contrast to the handling of Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd last summer. 

“Name something more Madison than Mifflin Street Block Party, which started out as an anti-Vietnam war / anti-police protest, becoming a place where white students are able to commit crimes in public & play drinking games with the same officers that brutalize black & brown folks,” the UW BIPOC Coalition said in a tweet.

COVID-19 Updates: Hundreds of vaccine appointments now available at UHS for this weekend

UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone said UW is working with the City of Madison in response to the off-campus and non-UW-affiliated event. 

UW continues to promote messages about vaccination efforts, and the Senior Class Officers emphasized the importance of staying safe and healthy ahead of the in-person Camp Randall Commencement. Students need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend the graduation ceremony, McGlone said. 

“We are beginning investigations into the conduct of several students,” McGlone said in an email to The Herald. “Any students found to have violated laws, public health orders or campus policies may face university disciplinary action in addition to sanctions by the city.”

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