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The Madison Street Festival will be held in downtown Madison on Saturday, Oct. 5, beginning with the annual community parade at 9 p.m. CONTRIBUTED

The Madison Street Festival will fill downtown Madison with fun this Saturday

MADISON – It’s here! The Madison Street Festival will fill the streets of Madison’s historic downtown with plenty of fun on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The Madison Street Festival is the city’s largest event, drawing thousands to the historic downtown area for lots of fun.

This annual event welcomes more than 13,000 visitors and is a local tradition for kicking-off the fall season.

The festival has claimed distinction as one of Alabama’s top 20 fall festivals. Hundreds of vendors, artisans, performers and community volunteers entertain and inform visitors. Original works of fine art, muscle cars, live music, handmade crafts, floats, marching bands and tasty orders from food trucks keep the crowd happy.

The community parade opens the festival at 9 a.m.James Clemens and Bob Jones are perennial favorites – clubs, politicians, businesses, churches and hundreds of smiling Scouts, Indian princesses, dancers and baton twirlers march the streets of Madison. The parade snakes through downtown from Mill Road to Front Street.

Children will flock to “the big tent” for the Children’s Area, where boys and girls can enjoy in free arts, make-and-take crafts, games and entertainment. From magic and balloon animals to face painting and mini-projects, there is plenty for the kids to do.

Crafters’ Cove offers one of the outstanding arts-and-crafts shows in the Tennessee Valley. Artisans travel from across the South to share their original art and beautifully handcrafted items.

MSF organizers say they intend for Crafter’s Cove to showcase unique handmade items that embody the creativity and skill of the craftsperson.

Artist Alley is another favorite. It will feature an array of accomplished painters, sculptors, potters and photographers. A panel scrutinizes this juried art show to qualify these exhibitors.

A huge attraction at MSF, a smorgasbord of food is served from vendors and food trucks. Try a funnel cake for a traditional sweet treat or venture to ethnic tastes from Greek to Cajun.

There will also be plenty of entertainment. Local entertainers – singers, instrumentalists and bands – show their talent to fairgoers, who can sit and listen or dance to the music.

Information Booths are a longtime festival favorite. Scores of for-profit and mom-and-pop businesses as well as non-profit organizations line Front Street to explain their products and services. From health and wellness to insurance, from pet services to chocolates, everyone will find a booth to pique their interest.

At the festival’s Teen Zone, Madison is taking a second stab at setting the world’s record for the most people dressed as a cow in one place.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the current record holder is a town in Western Australia called Cowaramup with 1,352 people dressed as cows on July 12, 2014.

Madison attempted the record last year at Dublin Park, but a rainy start hindered the attempt and it fell short. Hundreds still turned out for Madison’s first Chick-fil-A-sponsored “Fun Fest and World Record Attempt”, which has organizers excited about this year’s prospect.

The world record break attempt will be held 2 p.m.

After the festival, the MSF Committee accepts applications for grants that divide any funds collected at the festival, minus expenses, to help area organizations, school groups and non-profits.

Visit madisonstreetfestival.org to see what else will be at this year’s festival.

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