All across Madison students are readying themselves for the academic rigors of finals week. But before confining themselves to libraries or perpetual caffeination, one of the city’s great institutions approaches, and with it, chances for students to ensure it continues.
Rinse out your beer bong, bro: Mifflin’s tomorrow.
What began as an anti-war protest followed by a riot in 1969, twice resulting in the arrest of Mayor Paul Soglin, has become the final release of stress and latent alcoholism before finals. But while the beer may flow a little more freely in Madison on Saturday, it does not come without some caveats.
This Saturday marks the third consecutive year of sponsorship for the event, enabling live music, DJs, restroom facilities and food carts. Individuals with much more to lose than the price of a disorderly conduct citation have invested their time, effort and money into creating an organized atmosphere for students to enjoy.
Some changes are in the works this year with the allowance of the previously unthinkable for contemporary Mifflin gatherings: drinking in the street. Wristbands will be distributed for those choosing to purchase beer from Capitol Neighborhoods Inc., allowing alcohol to be brought out of the yards in which drinking had previously been relegated.
City officials also claim they will be enforcing occasional ID checks to curb underage drinking in the hopes of avoiding rampant drunk driving by those who flock to Madison for the event. While underage drinking, arguably a staple of the block party, will inevitably occur this year as well, the powers that be are on the lookout.
Long story short, don’t be stupid.
The conduct of students, not officials, is the determining factor in the continuing success of the Mifflin Street Block Party. Be smart about your drinking, don’t hassle the police, mind the capacity of balconies and be safe. While all the decisions made on Mifflin surely won’t be good, don’t make it any harder on the wallet or fellow students by making outright bad ones.