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The taming of Halloween at UW-Madison

Posted by: Jenna Ross Updated: October 31, 2011 - 2:42 PM

In Madison last week, students and even a few officials predicted a weekend of debauchery.

The UW-Madison campus is notorious for its annual Halloween festivities. But arrests and attendance were down again at this year's celebration on State Street, called Freakfest. That fest became ticketed in 2006, in an effort to tamp down unruliness. This year, just one person was arrested, new outlets said.

The Badger Herald reported that there were 25,000 paid attendees this year. That compares to 35,000 people last year, 44,000 people the year before and 100,000 in the early 1980s.

According to the Herald, city officials are concerned about this year's low attendance:

Verveer said although Freakfest is relatively popular among students, he would like to see its popularity increase.

“Saturday’s Freakfest was the quietest I’ve seen the festival since the late 1990s,” Verveer said. “I would really like to encourage a dialogue to make Freakfest more popular for students. Would students find Freakfest more popular if there was a higher caliber artists in exchange for higher ticket process?”

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