No serious issues were reported throughout Saturday during the wet and muddy 2016 Mifflin Street Block Party, according to the Madison Police Department Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain.
DeSpain estimated about 3,500 people attended the event at any one point Saturday. Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said 43 citations were issued throughout the day, mostly for underage alcohol consumption. He went on to say four people went to jail, though only one person was criminally charged and that seven people went to detox, filling the unit for the day.
“We had no serious problems and overall have been pleased with the demeanor of the crowd,” DeSpain said in an interview Saturday. “There have been some people obviously that have had too much to drink but, for the most part, the majority of the people have had a good time and kept it under control.”
MPD said they believed attendance would increase this year, after budget cuts resulted in a smaller Revelry Music festival. But the nearly constant rain from noon on drove people away, according to DeSpain.
“I think the weather played a large part in keeping crowd numbers down today,” DeSpain said. “Certainly we were anticipating, without a dayside Revelry, that we could see numbers spike a little bit. But obviously that didn’t play out.”
MPD Chief Mike Koval wrote in a blog post last Monday that he wanted the annual Mifflin party, which began nearly 50 years ago, to become an “institutional memory.” The event causes numerous safety issues and is costly for the MPD, costing about $90,000 a year, according to DeSpain.
Though he wants Mifflin to end, Koval was still in attendance Saturday and enjoying the day with the crowd, according to DeSpain.
“Certainly Chief [Koval] was out there today and enjoying talking with people and having his picture taken with people,” DeSpain said. “I think he understands that there is a part of Mifflin that continues to live on, I that think it’s his hope it wouldn’t but the reality is that some people see Mifflin that should keep going.”