On the eve of the first weekend in May, Madison officials are reminding residents the Mifflin Street Block Party will not take place Saturday as it has for decades.
A report released Thursday by Public Health Madison and Dane County showed the Mifflin Street Block Party cost city taxpayers $196,000 in policing efforts last year. Mayor Paul Soglin said he hopes to save some of the money spent on Mifflin policing and put it toward youth activities.
“We will reduce that check,” Soglin said in a statement. “We will make those funds available for summer youth programming.”
Madison Police Chief Noble Wray and Soglin said in the statement that the annual student event has grown out of control, and they want to reduce the burden on the community and the police department.
The report noted incidents reported to police at the event, including violent crimes and drug offenses, largely involved 21-year-old white males. It called for a coalition between the university and the community to address the party and its problems.
An alternative weekend event, a musical festival called Revelry, will be held at Union South and may help to shrink the size and scope of Mifflin.
“People are going to do what they’re going to do on Saturday, and we’re not going to try to stop anyone,” Revelry spokesperson Bess Donoghue said. “We’re just trying to provide this really fun way to celebrate the end of the year in a safe environment.”