Dozens arrested, property damaged following Mifflin Street Block Party

A crowd flipped over a car and a deck partially collapsed Saturday

A crowd flips over a car on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at the Mifflin Street Block Party near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Photo by Stephanie Fryer/ Courtesy of Madison Police Department

Police arrested more than 80 people following the Mifflin Street Block Party Saturday near the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Most of those citations were for alcohol-related offenses, police said. Officers booked at least half a dozen people into the Dane County jail.

The city shut down the 400 and 500 blocks of Mifflin Street for the event, which drew thousands of people to downtown Madison.

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A Madison police officer suffered minor injuries after being hit by a vehicle while doing traffic control for the event. The driver remained at the scene and was not cited.

EMS teams responded to at least 14 medical calls, most of which were related to alcohol, according to the Madison Fire Department. Eleven of those calls resulted in people being taken to the hospital.

A first-floor porch partially collapsed during the party, but officials say no one was injured from the collapse.

City officials shut down the 400 and 500 blocks of Mifflin Street on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Photo by Stephanie Fryer/ Courtesy of Madison Police Department

Photos and videos show a crowd flipping over a car during the gathering, and police say that incident prompted them to start clearing out backyards on the 500 block of Mifflin Street just before 3 p.m.

A second car in the area was severely damaged, police said.

The weather on Saturday was overcast and the crowd started to thin when it began raining shortly before 6 p.m.

The Mifflin Street Block Party started in 1969 as a student protest against the Vietnam War. It’s continued every year since with the exception of 2020, when it was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event no longer has a political focus, and it is not sponsored by the university. In recent years, it’s taken place on the last Saturday in April before the start of final exams.

More than 150 officers worked the block party on Saturday, with some mounted on horses and bikes. Prior to Saturday’s party, city officials say they dispatched building inspectors to look for substandard porches and balconies and to warn property owners to make repairs or rope off the area.