End of Daylight Saving Time Extends State St. Halloween Celebration

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Get ready to fall back. Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend. The annual time change coincides with the Halloween celebration on State Street this year.

Next year, Daylight Saving Time will begin three weeks earlier, and it will end later, by one week. However, it still will affect the State Street celebration in 2009.

In the meantime, it means an added cost to the city.

"I think some of the folks in some of the city agencies call this one of the perfect storm years," Joel Plant, Madison's alcohol policy coordinator, says.

Madison plays host this weekend to Badger Football and hockey games as well as Halloween on State Street and the end of Daylight Saving Time.

"This is a triple whammy, that's for sure," State Street Brats Owner Kelly Meuer says.

Daylight Saving Time ends at 2AM Sunday, giving bars like State Street Brats more time to serve.

"For the most part, it's not that big of a deal. Most bars are cleared out, most late night places are cleared out," Meuer says.

Meuer also says it makes little difference to the bottom line because so many people trade their bar stools for a spot on the street by that hour. "A lot of times, they'll wait and watch, see the police line and say 'oh, wow'. We'll just wait; we'll see them get tear gassed and be able to talk about it. It's almost a badge of courage," he says.

However, what some might consider a badge of courage comes at a cost for taxpayers. The city pays police for more time if Daylight Saving Time ends on Halloween weekend.

"Every hour that officers are out on the streets is exponentially more expensive, especially given there's a football game that morning," Plant says.

Plant also says however, the city has no control over bar time, which is set by a state statute. "Two of the most common suggestions we get are close the bars early or let them stay open later, and we can't do either one of those," he explains.

Police say the ticketed event on State Street will end at 1:30 in the morning, Daylight Saving Time.

Crews will begin to break down entertainment stages and prepare for Sunday business.

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