Mifflin Street Could See Two Block Parties

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Madison's Mayor says to change the date for the Mifflin Street block party would force taxpayers to pick up the tab. But some students say they still plan to party one week earlier regardless of the city's decision.

Mifflin Street's historic block party is one month away, or less, depending on you who ask.

"Most of the other people I've talked to say it's the 30th but I don't know how it's gonna play out," Nick Drescher, a junior at the UW, says.

The so-called official date is May 7.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz says, "We planned for this date early on. Nobody was aware of the potential conflict."

The date conflicts with student schedules because it falls the day before finals.
Another UW student, Kate Kullberg, says "it seems kind of cruel and unusual punishment to have it on the day before finals."

But the mayor says it's too costly to move up the party one week.

"Unfortunately there is going to be some added costs no matter what we do, but our goal is to keep somewhat below the $83, 000 to $93, 000, if the event were held exclusively on April 30th."

Still, costs likely will add up because some students will party one or both days.

"Especially with a lot of students having it the 30th, a lot of them are afraid what police might do if they have a band or anything. So, it's tough," Drescher says.

"People all over have to make tough choices and this is not the toughest choice in the world. I think they can work it out," Cieslewicz says.

Students say another concern is coordinating dates with their neighbors. A party upstairs could make studying downstairs difficult.

"Either we're gonna have a lot of people one weekend and they'll probably have a lot of people the other," Drescher says.

Thursday, the university's chancellor came out in support of the city's decision not to re-schedule.

Chancellor John Wiley told reporters that anyone who leaves all of their studying to the last day "is in worse trouble than Mifflin Street party is going to add to."

But some say a split decision could add up to a bad bash.
Drescher says "It's gonna be a really bad block party if half of the people are doing one thing and half the other."

The Mayor says the Mifflin Street block party is considered a spontaneous event. It has no sponsor so the city is not asked to issue a permit.

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