On Oct. 7, Madison Street Festival promises to entertain and educate with local musicians, student exhibits and booths for entrepreneurs and small businesses. CONTRIBUTED

Madison Street Festival: A great day for everyone

MADISON – On Oct. 7, find your niche for thrills, laughter, local musicians, visual artists, craftsmanship and entrepreneurs at Madison Street Festival.

This year marks the festival’s 41st anniversary. Many people define the day as a street party, a shopping venue for one-of-a-kind designs or a homecoming for family and friends.

The MSF Steering Committee has worked “the last eight months with over 40 volunteers. The MSF 501(c)3 organization has been working diligently and passionately behind the scenes to create another magical festival FREE to the community on Oct. 7, opening at 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.,” MSF President Crystal McBrayer said.

The 2023 festival is attracting more participants than ever before.

The MSF PARADE is a not-to-miss tradition for many festivalgoers. The community parade shows off youngsters in sports, music and civic-minded groups. City politicians wave to constituents. First-responders march. Small businesses advertise their wares and services.

The parade will start on Skate Park Drive at 9 a.m. and proceed down Mill Road and Church, Front and Sullivan streets. Parade units will disperse at Madison Elementary School.

When the parade ends, MSF Opening Ceremonies will commence on the Entertainment Stage on Church Street.

Also on Church Street, SPONSOR ROW will show the businesses who donated funds to MSF. That revenue allows MSF to remain an admission-free event.

CRAFTERS COVE will attract shoppers for handmade accents for home or lawn, along with children’s clothing and accessories. At Church and Maple streets’ intersection, this marketplace offers wreaths, toys, jewelry, upcycled home decor, doggie outfits, candles, handsewn pieces and more.

ARTIST ALLEY off Church Street encompasses a juried art exhibit for outstanding artists from the Tennessee Valley and beyond. Stroll through booths of high-caliber, award-winning original pieces. Madison Arts Alliance will host an interactive art exhibit.

Also in Artist Alley, the STUDENT ART AREA has youth’s creations that show remarkable skills. The brilliant young designers’ artwork promises to impress.

On Front Street, the BUSINESS SHOWCASE assembles for-profit/non-profit organizations with energetic reps who will explain their products, McBrayer said. See demos of health and insurance needs, pet products, household wares and nature . . . to name a few.

Festivalgoers can peruse 31 FOOD vendors, serving comfort food and carnival treats, including barbecue, Greek, cookout plates, tamales, funnel cakes, ice cream, vegan options, popcorn, desserts, coffees and lemonade. “We promise every tummy will leave happy,” McBrayer said.

Off Maple Street, INTERACT ZONE caters to children’s and teens’ amusements. Youngsters can make-and-take crafts, play games and watch entertainers. Teenagers can experience interactive stations, easy-to-learn activities and STEM options.

At MIDTOWN MADISON, city leaders and employees will answer questions about Madison’s services. Their booths at Church and Front streets will be stocked with promotional materials.

COMMUNITY SHOWCASE STAGE on Main Street will host performing groups. The audience can enjoy diverse genres, including martial arts, belly dancers, baton twirlers, quartets . . . to name a few.

At the ENTERTAINMENT STAGE off Church Street, “Put your hands together, stomp your feet, dance or just sit back to live music,” McBrayer said. “This stage will bring some of the best local talents to please crowds throughout the day.”

MADISON CITY COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA will have a booth, and some of its musicians will discuss the group’s wide range of performance pieces.

Madison American Legion, Post 229 will staff the veterans park on Front Street. Legionnaires will discuss veterans affairs and operate an interactive exhibit.

Madison Station Quilters will demonstrate their admirable skills and quality creations at the Round House. Madison Station Historical Preservation Society will explain details about the Round House and Madison’s interesting timeline.

Need directions? Want to charge a cell phone? Visit MSF’s INFORMATION trailer near Animal Trax.

Student photographers will document MSF’s sights and sounds.

The free SHUTTLE SERVICE buses from CrossPointe Church and Madison City Schools Stadium are very convenient. Assisted-ride buses also will run. NOTE: The CrossPointe Church shuttle will reroute from 8:45 to 10:00 a.m.

“Our heart as an organization is giving money back to the community with our GRANTS to educational programs,” McBrayer said. To apply, visit madisonstreetfestival.org/grant.

To volunteer, visit madisonstreetfestival.org/volunteers.

“The MSF organization is beyond grateful for the support that our community has shown for our 41st festival. We cannot wait to see everyone enjoying all that we have planned for the day,” McBrayer said.

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