The semester that was: Mifflin sees decline as Revelry kicks off

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Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, summed up the state of the Mifflin Street Block Party the day after 2013′s event, saying “the past Mifflin that some upperclassmen are used to is done.”

In early April, Madison police issued a neighborhood letter saying there would be no block party on May 4, causing a stir in the campus community over the future of the event.

This year’s Mifflin was almost nonexistent compared to previous years’ festivities on the street, which along with their drunken antics are also remembered for high levels of police presence and violent crimes such as stabbings and sexual assaults in 2011. 

The 2012 event saw more than 500 citations, but this year police issued just six so far. These were all for minor violations such as public urination, carrying an open intoxicant and possession of marijuana.

No one drank in the streets at this year’s Mifflin, one of the event’s traditions, and Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said that it was more of a “porch party” than a block party. 

City and campus leaders also began planning their own “not an alternative to Mifflin” party, called Revelry, a campus-sponsored and organized event held around Union South on the same day as Mifflin.

Revelry featured more than a dozen musicians, including headliners Hoodie Allen and Toro Y Moi. It also had a foam machine, food vendors and public art. One attendee needed to be transported to detox.

The university sold more than 3,000 tickets for Revelry, filling the event to 82 percent of its capacity.

Some students protested Revelry and the large police presence at previous Mifflins, calling it a “War on Mifflin,” but student leaders called Revelry a success and voiced plans to make the event an annual spring tradition at University of Wisconsin.

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