City Cast

What To Do for Halloween Instead of Freakfest

Hayley Sperling
Hayley Sperling
Posted on October 26
two costume-clad people walk down state street during freakfest 2016

For years, Freakfest drew thousands of visitors to State Street on Halloween weekend. (John Benson / Flickr)

In case you didn’t know it, Freakfest is canceled — again — this year.

At one point in time, the local Halloween music festival drew thousands of costume-clad visitors to State Street. In 2020, the annual event was canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions but even after rules loosened the festival was canceled again in 2021 and 2022.

The future for Freakfest is also pretty bleak — Madison Deputy Mayor Reuben Sanon told NBC15 the city has been trying to get away from the event “for many years now,” and downtown Ald. Mike Verveer said “There’s a good chance as of now that we’ve ended the Freakfest chapter of a long State Street Halloween history.”

While plenty of State Street bars will still be open for business on Halloween, here are some happenings around town to get you in a scary state of mind.

🍬 Trick or Treating

  • The City of Madison’s official trick-or-treating hours are Oct. 31 from 4 - 8 p.m.
  • Check out this list for other municipalities’ trick-or-treating hours.

👻 Haunted Houses

☠️ Places To Party

🎃 Further Festivities

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