It's a no-show at this year's Mifflin St. Block Party

On the left is last year's Mifflin St. Block Party, and on the right is a picture taken from...
On the left is last year's Mifflin St. Block Party, and on the right is a picture taken from the same spot this year. Authorities canceled the annual college party due to COVID-19 concerns. (Source: WMTV)(NBC15)
Published: Apr. 25, 2020 at 12:57 PM CDT
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As expected, Mifflin Street in Madison was empty after the annual block party there was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Last week, the Madison Police Department stated that they plan on

to anyone who does not live on the Mifflin Street area on Saturday, April 25, and that officers notified people who live in the area and landlords who own property there that “festivities will not be tolerated.”

In an update Saturday, Madison Police said, in part, "Residents in the Mifflin Street area have shown a commitment to public health and safety by foregoing the annual block party." Historically, festivities have included hard-drinking, hard-partying, outdoor music and a celebration of all things college life.

Police say that around at 2 p.m., "usually peak party time," the street was quiet, and that no arrests were made or citations issued, according to the incident report.

NBC15 News crews who visited the famed street in downtown Madison on Friday saw about a dozen Madison police officers patrolling the area.

Ben Antonneau, who lives on the street, described the scene as "a little dystopian" and "kind of weird."

"I guess it makes sense," Antonneau said. "They're trying to keep people safe."

Understanding but disappointed, other UW-Madison students living on the street said they are finding more intimate ways to keep the tradition alive. Mady Lehmann said she'd hang out on the porch with her housemates and listen to music.

The above photo shows the contrast between the party in 2019, and in the same spot, this year.

The Mifflin Street Block Party started in 1969 as a protest against the Vietnam War, and over the years became one of two large parties held by students attending UW-Madison. In recent years, its hard-partying reputation has been tuned down to avoid excessive roughhousing.