This Saturday, October 6th, Crunkleton will be at the Madison Street Festival in beautiful downtown Madison! As a sponsorof the event, we are excited to support the festival and partner with its coordinators to bring fun, food, and entertainment to the City.
Now in its 38th year, the festival has grown tremendously over the last decade. In fact, it’s expected that more than 30,000 people will attend!
It’s easy to see why it’s so popular when you look at the entertainment and review the countless food vendors, activities, and artists that will line the streets. The festival team has worked tirelessly to make this year the best yet, and they have several things planned that are new to the event.
Curious about what to expect this year? We spoke with Keegan Mumaw, Sponsorship Chair, to get the scoop on everything happening at the 2018 Madison Street Festival.
What is the Madison Street Festival?
“This is the 38th year that we are creating the festival for the City of Madison,” said Keegan. “It started as part of the U.S. Bicentennial and the Huntsville Museum of Art. Joyce Griffin was the first Chairperson for the event and it was basically a tour of homes in downtown Madison. Over the years, it has morphed into what it is today.”
Recognized as one of the Top 20 Fall Festivals in the State of Alabama, the Madison Street Festival is a perfect day for families—and even pets—to celebrate the City by browsing hundreds of vendors and artisans, and sampling some of the best food in the area.
“There’s no shortage of fun activities,” assured Keegan. “Whether you’re into art, music, muscle cars, or food, you’ll find something for every member of the family to enjoy. And, best of all, it’s free to attend!”
Although the event is free, 100 percent of the proceeds made at the festival go directly back to the City of Madison through its grant program. In the past, funds have been used to support the local library, school systems, and much more.
Keegan, who has worked with the festival for 10 years, also shared that the event focused heavily this year on providing the best entertainment available.
“We have two main stages at the festival—one on Main Street and one on Church Street,” explained Keegan. “We have singers, dancers, and musicians. There’s even an improv group. We tried to keep the lineup diverse and enjoyable for everyone.”
“At 9 a.m., we start everything off with a big parade,” said Keegan. “It’s the perfect way to kick off the event and get everyone ready for what’s to come.”
What attractions and vendors will be there?
Crunkleton will have a tent at the festival and we’d love for everyone to come by and learn more about our ongoing projects in Madison!
In addition to its main stages, the event boasts a Community Showcase, Artist’s Alley, Crafter’s Cove, food trucks/vendors, a car show, children’s area, and more. This year, the team is also introducing a new area called the Teen Zone.
“The Teen Zone will have a climbing wall, gladiator pit, and a red carpet with props where they can take plenty of selfies,” laughed Keegan. “We even have someone on site to teach them how to make their own video games. WZYP will be there so they can enjoy live music too.”
Old favorites will also be returning to the event:
Children’s Tent – Bring ages 2-9 to the children’s tent for crafts, games, and entertainment. The Madison Police Department will be there to provide free finger-painting too!
Car Show – The Vets with Vettes and Corvette Owners car club has been with the festival for 10 years and will be there from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This part of the festival raises money for local charities like Heroes Week, Survivor’s Outreach Services, the local Floyd Veteran’s Home, and the Veteran’s Museum.
Information Vendors – You can check out the many for-profit and non-profit information booths located on Front Street. Gather info from multiple local groups about performing arts, nature, community groups and more. The possibilities are endless!
Artist’s Alley – This is where attendees can find a juried art section with some of the Tennessee Valley’s most talented artists. You’re sure to find the perfect piece of art to take home.
Crafter’s Cove – Come see local artisans that make everything from candles to wreaths and baby hats. Skilled artisans from Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi make up this area, so you’re sure to see the best the South has to offer!
Community Showcase – This area is reserved for local presentations like the Madison City Community Orchestra, Fantasy Playhouse, Okinawan Karate Center, and Von Braun Astronomical Society, just to name a few. Come by to see unique performances and to learn new skills from various groups.
But, of course, one of the most popular reasons to attend the event is for all of the incredible food. This year, guests can sample small bites and full meals from a variety of vendors.
“We have different levels of food vendors,” explained Keegan. “Some are food trucks and others are in tents. This year we have too many to name. I’d encourage everyone to go check out our website to see everything that’s available.You can get ice cream, Caribbean food, pizza—you name it and we probably have it. We guarantee you’ll find something you love. And we’ve placed vendors all throughout the festival so you’re never far away from a food option.”
Who or what does the event support?
“Each year, we focus on giving back to a community group by raising awareness and funds for their organization,” shared Keegan. “We call them our Grand Marshals, and this year we are working with Madison’s First Responders.”
Five groups will be highlighted in a presentation at the festival and donations will be collected for the organizations.
“We are honored to support the Madison Fire & Rescue, Madison Police Department, Public Works, Madison County Sheriffs, and Limestone County Sheriffs at the event this year,” said Keegan. “That’s why we raise money at the event—to give back to meaningful organizations and provide for the City of Madison through our grant program.”
What makes the festival so special?
“Personally, I believe it’s our focus on giving back to the community,” explained Keegan. “The people of Madison have fully embraced the festival and look forward to it every year. We give all of our proceeds back to the community to help it run. Madison can say that this event truly belongs to them. It’s also free to enjoy and offers free parking. That’s something that makes us unique.”
Guests are encouraged to arrive early for the parade at 9 a.m. by parking at Crosspoint Church or Madison Stadium where they can catch a free shuttle into downtown.
“Be sure to get there by 8:30 a.m. if you plan to park and use the shuttle at Crosspoint Church,” said Keegan. “The parade route affects that shuttle so it will be in operation before and after the parade—not during. Shuttles will run all day and continue to run until everyone has safely left the festival grounds.”
Keegan also said that the festival team is still looking for volunteers to help on Saturday. So, if you’re interested, visit the website and sign up for a shift.
“This event is 100-percent run by volunteers,” said Keegan. “There’s no way we could make it happen without them.”
Shifts are available throughout the day for different areas of the festival.
“I also want to acknowledge how important our sponsors are to the success of the festival,” stressed Keegan. “Without them, we simply couldn’t hold this event. Everyone involved has been a hero to us.”
“If it’s your first time attending, we hope you see how special this event is to our community,” smiled Keegan. “And for those of you who have shown up and supported us every year, thank you. Our love of Madison is why we hold this festival and we want it to be an event that its citizens can be proud of.”
Will you be attending the Madison Street Festival this year? What’s your favorite part of the event? Let us know in the comments!
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