University of Wisconsin


The State Street Halloween Party tradition never “grew” as most popular events do; this bash drew upwards of 100,000 people straight out of the gate in 1979. Run by student government, beer was sold on Library Mall and bonfires were constructed in the middle of State Street. With a history of riots, extreme damage, arrests, injury and even death, the State Street Halloween Party has had its ups and downs over the decades. To curb what often got out of control, the local government finally took control in 2006 dubbing it “Freakfest,” blocking off State Street and charging an admission fee. With close to 50,000 in attendance in recent years, “Freakfest” attracts live national music acts all weekend, and everyone comes in costume.