The city's plans for the Halloween party on State Street -- scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 28 -- are nearly complete. On Friday, Oct. 6, the Parks Department published a map (available as a PDF file and in the gallery at top right) detailing the infrastructure for the party that the public will see.
"Ticket locations, the glass-free zone, fencing, and the music stages are final," says parks superintendent Jim Morgan. "There may be one more revision to the plan the week prior to the event based on a meeting we had with the police, engineering, streets and parks departments on Monday morning." However, from a public standpoint, what is depicted in the map is final.
One thing that remains incomplete is the exact area that will be encompassed by the events permits to be taken out by promoter John Kunz. Joel Plant, the city's alcohol policy coordinator and primary Halloween organizer can't say exactly what the size of those areas will be: "In the original discussions we were talking about a half-block," but he doubts that with the current stage locations that will be the case. "We haven't defined exactly what the permit will include, but it's not going to be a huge area."
The Gorham Street stage area will encompass the first half of the block immediately north of State Street, including the sidewalks and a portion of the Buckeye Parking Lot. A portion of the stage is set to be located inside the parking lot. The Capitol stage area will run from the sidewalks surrounding the inner lawn on the Square down to the intersection of State, Carroll and Mifflin streets. This stage will be located between the steps leading up to the Capitol and a circular planter in the middle of the intersection. "We're going to take care that the planter is a non-trip hazard," Plant says.
As for the plans detailed in the map dated Oct. 6, Plant confirms that everything significant is finalized. "We'll probably make some minor modifications on exact fencing locations," he says, "but I don't think anything significant is going to change between now and October 28."
Meanwhile, the Halloween Action Committee has launched a completed version of hacmadison.com, following weeks of 'coming soon' assurances. Interestingly, most of the information on the site replicates that already posted on the City of Madison's official Halloween portal, including the exact language on the front page, ticketing information, entertainment and vendor details, and its FAQ.
The primary differences between the websites are mostly limited to design elements and a note that the committee will be announcing entertainment options on Thursday, Oct. 12. For a group that originated in the form of a Facebook group reacting negatively to the city's plans, the Halloween Action Committee now seems to be conforming to the official municipal position on the revelries. Except, perhaps, in one way.
The new version of hacmadison.com prominently features the slogan "Befriend the Police, Come as a Salt Lick." Hmm, salt goes with what? Could the Facebook-group-turned-rebranding-partner be making an oblique statement about previous police use of pepper spray on the crowd?