Mifflin Block Party Evolution

This timeline tracks the major changes in the history of the Mifflin Street Block Party at UW-Madison.

1969-05-03 00:00:00


The first Mifflin Block Party began as a Vietnam War protest by students who wanted an anti-war party.

1969-05-25 00:00:00


The city issued a parade permit for the Mifflin 500 Block.

1970-03-21 00:00:00


This was Madison's first legal block party, where the city passed an ordinance to legalize block parties and street use permits.

1972-05-03 00:00:00


No party was held.

1973-04-28 00:00:00


The block party returned to Mifflin Street, where even the newly elected Mayor Paul Soglin attended.

1976-05-08 00:00:00


The block party doubled as a fundraiser under the sponsorship from the Mifflin Co-Op.

1979-05-06 00:00:00


Mayor Joel Skornicka and the City Council created “Mifflin on the Mall” at State Street Mall.

1981-05-02 00:00:00


The block party took place at the mall at the Library Mall while a few hundred gathered on Mifflin Street.

1986-05-03 00:00:00


Mifflin Street Co-Op sponsored the main stage and two beer stands, in addition to the following year.

1988-05-07 00:00:00


Beer gardens were not required yet partiers were required to purchase drink tickets.

1990-05-05 00:00:00


Police presence was omitted for the first time in history.

1991-05-04 00:00:00


The Co-Op withdrew from sponsoring the annual block party, while there was a new policy enforced limiting alcohol to a contained beer garden.

1994-05-07 00:00:00


Black-n-Tan Productions sponsored an alcohol-free event instead of the Mifflin event.

1996-05-04 00:00:00


The party on Mifflin Street broke into riot surrounding student who created bon fires in the streets. There were 22 people injured.

1997-05-03 00:00:00


The Mifflin festivities continued at private residences, a trend that lived on for three more years. There was no live music.

2004-05-01 00:00:00


Police issued a four-keg limit for parties and the city banned glass containers on Mifflin Street.

2009-05-02 00:00:00


Live music returned with sponsorship from DCNY productions.

2011-04-30 00:00:00


The city allowed open alcoholic beverages in street, and Majestic Theater organized the entertainment. There were two stabbings and 160 arrests. Afterwards, Mayor Soglin proposed to ban the event.

Mifflin Block Party Evolution

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