Halloween in Madison is quite a trip. It can be fun and exciting, and also a little bit scary. The energy is high, but wildly unpredictable.
Even getting to the downtown area was a challenge, as the road was backed up bumper to bumper for blocks. I did manage to duck out of the bottleneck early and park on the east side of the capital, where I could avoid most of the pedestrian crush.
I was dressed as Snow White (not the Disney one) complete with black wig and apple. I was quite happy to have a costume that didn't leave miles of exposed flesh. The night was mild compared to some years, but is was still in the low 40s, and there was a wind blowing. Not that there weren't plenty of scantily clad men and women to make up for that. Bare skin made bearable by alcohol.
I made my way to the Orpheum where I met up with my brother, the birthday boy, dressed as the Joker. We were soon joined by my sister, dressed as Marilyn Monroe. My dad even made a brief cameo appearance, wearing a rubber monster mask along with his everyday clothes. While at that party I saw Death, (from Sandman), Hedwig (of Angry Inch fame), a bunch of Amish, the Ambiguously Gay Dou, Jesus (from Big Lebowski), and Moses, who was packing heat like any good NRA member.
After about two hours, we decided to hit the street. Stepping out of the theater, we ran into some more of my friends, dressed as Lara Croft, Captain Mullet, and the Scarecrow (from Batman). They joined us for the walk.
As we walked, The Joker "battled" with a number of superheroes and Captain Mullet, Lord of the Trailer Park, posed for pictures. It was wall to wall people in both the sidewalk and the street. At one point I became completely seperated from the group. My sibling and Hedwig were somewhere up ahead, and the rest where somewhere behind me. The flow of the crowd pushed me along a diagonal and then out into a clearing. I paused for a bit to get my bearings, which allowed the group behind me to find me again, but made us lose the group ahead of us to be lost to us entirely. We didn't see them again for the rest of the night. We decided to continue down the street in a human chain, to prevent us from getting seperated again.
The costumes were amazing, and the level of inhibition was hovering at the low end of the scale. The combination of alcohol and fantasy is a potent one. I would list the costumes I saw, but at this point, many of them are a blur.
As we reached lower State St. the crowd became packed even tighter. The closer to campus, the more the students. Passing the area by State Street Brats, we decided that if there were going to be a riot this year, that was were it would start. People in the rooms of the hotel overlooking the street were calling down to the crowd and climbing on the windows. Last year's riot also started with people in windows flashing the crowd, and bottle being thrown. There was a no glass bottles rule this year, but judging by the amount of broken glass I had to step over in the street, I'm guessing that not everyone abided by that.
We made it to the end of State Street and onto campus without incident, and stopped in the Union to warm ourselves. A group of "sperm" were also standing in the lobby, along with a group of superheroes.
Eventually, we made our way to the car that my friends had come in, and they gave me a ride back to my car. Personally, I was very glad to be on the far side of the capital, because there were so many pedestrians to avoid as we drove from one parking structure to another.
As far as I know, there were no major disturbances or arrests last night, which is good. There will surely be more celebrating tonight, since this is a weekend in a college town. Here's hoping that it will be two good nights. Personally, I'm getting ready for next year.