Once again, Madison's State Street will be the site of a huge Halloween party this weekend. But this year authorities hope there are more “treats” than “tricks”.
Thousands come to the state's capital Halloween weekend, not to lobby but party on State Street. In previous years the event ended with police using riot gear and pepper spray. Madison Mayor Dave Ciezlewicz says if the party comes to an end without using those two things then he will consider it progress.
The mayor is cautiously optimistic plans put in place will end the violence. Plans like closing off State Street and charging 5-dollars admission to get into the party. And if that keeps the crowd size down, that's fine with him. The mayor has always felt the trouble makers each year came from other parts of the state or just traveled here from other states to take part in a “riot”.
The State Street Halloween bash is not part of the city's tourism campaign. It started as a spontaneous party by mostly college students that is generally safe, fun and full of colorful and creative costumes.
It”s only been in recent years that small bands of troublemakers, usually fueled by alcohol, started getting out of hand, prompting police to clear the streets at bar time.
It’s become so big; the city had to try and manage it rather than let it get out of control.