Halloween is a week from today, but people will start to feel an overwhelming urge to shed their identities and become someone else this weekend, especially on State Street here in Madison. Last year at this time, there was a lot of controversy about the new idea of fencing off most of State Street and charging admission as a means of controlling the feared unruly behavior of thousands of Dionysian student revelers. There was even a lively controversy about whether closing down a public street in this manner was constitutional. This year, few people seem to care, one way or the other.
The Badger Herald reports that the event, now officially dubbed "Freakfest," has become so hemmed in by restrictions, regulations, police and surveillance, that many students are tuning out.
“I think things are just getting too — I hate to say this — but strictly, anal,” said UW senior Louis Washington. “I think they’re being a little too cautious as far as trying to prevent things from occurring. We are college students, but we aren’t animals.”Interested in going anyhow, whether or not you will be treated like an animal? The Isthmus Daily Page has lots of news, information and links. One factor that should tend to moderate behavior this weekend is that the bars will not be open that extra hour they used to be the Saturday night before Halloween, when setting back the clocks at 2:00 a.m. provided an extra hour of bar time.
That won't happen this year until the following weekend, the first Sunday in November. Who knows? Maybe spontaneous celebrations of the bartime bonus hour will lead to a new "Novemberfest" blowout to replace the increasingly domesticated Freakfest.