The opening night of Halloween weekend this year was quiet, with fairly small crowds on State Street and no major trouble reported by law enforcement. There were only 25 arrests made over the course of Friday night and early Saturday morning, primarily citations for open alcohol in the street. With colder conditions forecast for Saturday night and Sunday morning, it's possible that this was a harbinger of a tame Freakfest.
As has been the case in recent years, observers and attendees of the holiday gathering in downtown Madison have shared their thoughts about these events online. Perhaps commensurately with the relative peace of the partying, the number of these reports has been similarly lean. Nevertheless, they are a sound reflection of the general scene on State Street last night.
Links to community reports and commentary about the first night Halloween in Madison follow below.
- "Friday night proved to be a dress rehearsal for Saturday night's Freakfest 2007, as partygoers braved the cold wearing as little as possible and police bobbed and weaved down State Street acting only when necessary" -- Quinn Craugh @ UW J335
- "For most UW freshmen, Halloween had only been experienced through their televisions sets or fabricated by friends' tall tales of pepper spray and rioting" -- Bobbi Jo Snethen @ UW J335
- "At 2 a.m., I count twenty police officers standing in groups on the 500 block of Frances Street, between Langdon and State" -- Matt Weil
- "It is early Saturday morning and Madison police have encountered few problems thus far in the night leading up to Freakfest" -- MPD
- State Street was "definetly hopping" with Halloween festivities on Friday night -- Bridget Maniaci
- "As the first evening of '07's Freakfest approaches, I can't help but wonder what costumes I'll be seeing tonight" -- Sky Kalkstein @ UW J335
- "Freakfest security measures may be comforting to some daytime shops on State St., but others say aren't so positive about the organization and management of the Halloween celebration" -- Heather Gjerde @ UW J335
- "Madison, already widely known for its' acute alcoholism, will be awash in liquor for the next 48-odd hours, and ready to blow like a powder keg... Especially if the damned Badgers don't win tomorrow" -- "aeffchen"
- "Ruthie is at least 70 years old and is probably closer to 80 and she wants to go to Freakfest" -- "Bairbre Sine"
- "It looks as though Madison has finally exorcised the demons of its Halloween past" -- The Minnesota Daily
- Noting some of the local media coverage in the lead-up to Freakfest -- Jesse Russell @ Dane101
- Spotting the Halloween spotlight tests above State Street on Thursday night -- "BR" @ Mad. Shooters
More blogging and commentary about the holiday can be found in Madison Miscellany, as well as in a compendium collecting links to a broad array of blogging during the run-up to this Halloween weekend.