On Saturday, October 29, 2016 we mark the 11th anniversary of the City of Madison's Halloween event otherwise known as "Freakfest". This event has become a tradition in Madison which draws people of all ages to State Street to dress in costume and listen to music. Freakfest is the biggest Halloween bash in the area and it draws tens of thousands of people.
The Madison Police Department, in partnership with many other agencies that include the Dane County Sheriff's Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Fitchburg Police Department and the Wisconsin State Fair Park Police (who assist us by providing mounted patrol officers and their horses), will be staffing the day's activities as we attempt to provide a family friendly and safe environment. MPD starts to plan for Freakfest a year in advance, starting with a systems improvement analysis from the recently completed event. This is a collaborative process which entails numerous hours of work with city staff and the event promoter (Frank Productions). The biggest challenge for this year will be traffic, so please plan ahead and review the information on the Freakfest website: http://host.madison.com/freakfest/
As if Freakfest was not enough to handle, on the same night the UW Badger football team will be hosting Nebraska at Camp Randall Stadium with a 6pm kickoff (GO BUCKY!). Having a night football game in conjunction with Freakfest will certainly create traffic backups. In an effort to facilitate traffic flow, Gorham Street will remain open until 6pm; however, all other streets within the event zone around State Street will close by 5pm.
Some key times and important information to remember:
- Freakfest starts at 7pm and ends at 1:30am.
- Streets in the area will start to close at 5pm for set-up. Streets will start to re-open between 3-4am after clean-up.
- Buses start to be re-routed at approximately 4:50pm .
- No real or facsimile weapons are allowed in the event zone.
- No dangerous costume accessories are permitted. Example – Chain saws, Grim Reaper scythes, etc.
- No alcohol or glass containers permitted.
Our goals are simple: address dangerous behavior, eliminate the opportunity for injuries, prevent property damage and make sure everyone stays safe and has fun!
This blog was authored by Central District Captain Carl Gloede.