Madison Leaders Outline Plans for Halloween 2006

July 19, 2006

Madison – Led by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, community leaders representing Madison city government, downtown business organizations, students and others today outlined plans for Halloween 2006. This year’s plans build on a multi-year effort to create a safer event that reduces costs for taxpayers.

“This year we are continuing our ongoing efforts to make Halloween in Madison a safer event that doesn’t break the bank,” said Cieslewicz. “Our plan this year includes significant new initiatives that make progress in addressing my three primary concerns about this event: its cost to taxpayers; the pattern of violence at the event’s conclusion; and the over consumption of alcohol and use of illegal drugs, especially among young people.”

Key changes to this year’s event include:

- Participants share in the cost. Last year’s Halloween event cost taxpayers about $600,000 in public safety and other expenses. This year, participants will share the burden of that expense by paying $5 for admission to the State Street area on Saturday night. This measure could cover about one third of the costs that would otherwise be paid by taxpayers. It will also enhance public safety by limiting the size of the crowd and providing a way to monitor attendees who might be a danger to themselves or others.

- Offer constructive alternatives to alcohol. This year’s event will feature music and food offerings to create alternative, constructive activities for participants. There will be two stages inside the State Street area and food vendors on Library Mall.

- Re-brand the event. Thanks to the generosity of Ad2 Madison, an organization of young advertising professionals, the City will work to re-brand Halloween as a safe, positive, festive event.

“This plan is the result of months of discussion and consultation with a variety of city leaders, business owners, students and others,” said Cieslewicz. “We looked at a number of options for making this a better event, and developed this plan as a balanced and reasonable approach to making Halloween into a more positive event for our community.”

Community leaders comment on the plans for Halloween 2006:

“Clearly, Halloween has significant impact for Madison’s Central Business Improvement District (State Street & the Capitol Square area). We are glad to be part of a partnership to reclaim Halloween and to transform it into a positive for downtown businesses and the larger community.”
Mary Carbine, Executive Director, Madison's Central Business Improvement District (BID)

“As a representative of the Interfraternity Council, I fully support the collaborative effort of the city, community, and students to make this year’s Halloween a safe success for all involved.”
Brian Burke, President of the Interfraternity Council

“We have been planning for a number of adjustments to the 2006 Halloween event. We are hopeful that these changes will continue to improve the event from a public safety standpoint.”
Madison Police Chief Noble Wray

“I think the new approach will provide a more structured atmosphere and enhance the Halloween activities. The plan will work to reduce destructive behavior and promote the safety of students, without compromising the fun aspects of the tradition.”
Dylan Rath, Chair, The Associated Students of Madison (ASM)

“We’re excited about the opportunity to lend our expertise to this important initiative. The rebranding of Halloween into a positive tradition benefits attendees and the community as a whole.”
Lindsay Ostrowski, President, Ad2 Madison

Contact:
  • George Twigg, 608-266-4611