Police say Mifflin Street block party smaller this year

MADISON -- Officials say attendance was down at this year's Mifflin Street block party. Just 5,000 people partied Saturday, May 5th, compared to the 25,000 revelers who flooded the area last year.

Police say there were nearly 400 arrests and citations.

Police say the smaller crowds this year were likely a result of the rules implemented by the police department. Students say the party was less fun than in past years.

Last year, the Mifflin Street block party saw several violent incidents, including battery to civilians and law enforcement, sexual assaults and stabbings.

To make the event safer, Madison police implemented new rules this year that involved banning anyone from drinking on the streets or sidewalks and working with property owners on posting "no trespassing" signs. Also, for the first time in 14 years, streets were open to traffic.

Police say these changes have made a noticeable difference. "It seems like the level of intoxication is lower than last year, and the conduct in behavior appears to have been improved and the number of arrests has improved," one police official said.

Police say this year, the block party resulted in a total of 393 arrests and citations, and even though the number of attendees still far exceeded the capacity of the neighborhood.

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