Government is not the answer;
Government is the problem
. . . . . . Ronald Regan, 1980

Halloween 2006 or what's left of it

From the middle seventies through the early years of this century, Madison had arguably the best Halloween in America. OK, maybe not San Francisco levels of hedonism, but depending on your taste and given that we're just a cow town in the Midwest, pretty darned cool, considering.

But it's often said that large portions of America lie awake nights, miserable, knowing that somewhere, someone is enjoying herself.
That may explain the sad downward spiral of Halloween in Madison.

used to be fun Plenty of room this year More cops than revelers
In recent years, police watched from afar until well after bar time. When the crowds of
underage violent drunks began to act out (first tme away from their mother in all likelihood.)
police charged the crowd. WIth predictable results.

Our local media is a few steps below lackluster and found that a proper subject for sensational
hyperbole. The solons of our local governing body , who neither live in nor visit our neighborhood it seems, decreed the entire neighborhood would be barricaded.

Searchlights lit the night like noon.
Hundreds of police clustered, chatting amongst themselves.
Mounted police left pungent anti-personnel spreads on the pavement.
Mothers all over the area kept their teenage sons home
Or maybe they just went someplace else to drink

At the end of the day, our legendary Halloween in Madison was reduced to
something a bit less exciting than watching paint dry

Here are the decrees from above, keeping us peons in our place:
If you made this up no one would believe you If you made this up no one would believe you
If you made this up no one would believe you
A F T E R M A T H
City Of Madison official report on an event which
traditionally saw 85, 000 to 90,000 people:
Halloween on State Street ended peacefully this year, with the gated event drawing an estimated crowd of 35,000, and the media reporting the event as a success which is a positive for our downtown. The police reported less than half the number of arrests than last year (230 vs. 566), $150,000 in costs were recovered via the ticket sales, and we are not aware of any reports of property damage. From what we saw and heard on State Street, the event went well ticketing was pretty smooth, lines moved quickly, and the crowds were festive. For links to some coverage, see http://www.visitdowntownmadison.com/news/index.php?category_id=2552

So let's see - 1/3 normal attendance with 1/2 normal arrests.
Is that a positive trend?
A minor unelected official says it was "festive".
Gee. I was there and she wasn't. As usual I just don't get it.
Click for info, how to ORDER

Click for a previous Halloween, 2002

Here's the local media take on the evening:
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Click here to email
That very same night, our staff organized
an Urban Fixed Race in live traffic ! See coverage here:
Scaredy Cat Race
Scaredy Cat Race Sponsor's Page and Final Results

Local Media Coverage of the race,
incuding Yellow Jersey Staff Photos
our Tim at Checkpoint
Daily Cardinal Text
More Tim at Checkpoint