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Spring festivals will end winter’s dreariness

MADISON – Punxsutawney Phil has lots of explaining to do.

Our dismal, dank winter has left its toll, and everyone is craving spring. Luckily, Madison has several upcoming, outdoor events to thaw our spirits.

On April 6, Art 4 Paws will launch festival season on downtown’s Village Green. Madison Arts Council sponsors the unlikely combo of animal adoption groups and visual artists. Professional photographers and painters will capture pet portraits. Owners can show off their dogs while helping homeless animals.

Another animal-oriented event, Bark for Life on April 14 at Discovery Middle School will raise funds for the American Cancer Society, much like Relay for Life. Owners and their dogs will honor individuals who must deal with cancer. Pets can vie for honors in costume contests.

Madison City Farmers Market opens April 13. Local growers and farmers will offer fresh vegetables, eggs and cheeses, jams, breads and bedding plants at 1282 Hughes Road, adjacent to Discovery.

The 2013 Run Through the Roses is on track for May 4 as runners pace themselves through Madison neighborhoods. The race commemorates the Kentucky Derby and the town’s signature plant, the Knockout rose.

Also on May 4, Derby Days will pay homage to Kentucky Derby traditions. Residents can party in downtown streets. Ladies will wear fancy millinery and vendors will sell their wares, while live bluegrass strums in the breeze.

That same weekend, the Antique Automobile Club of America will drive about 100 vintage cars, circa 1932 to 1988, to town. On the evening of May 9, many vehicles will form a ‘gaslight’ parade through Madison.

Madison Relay for Life is scheduled for May 10 at Bob Jones High School. Teams will walk all night to show their determination for a cancer cure. The luminaria ceremony will memorialize friends and relatives, while the survivors’ lap will celebrate victory.

Promising to revive us, these great days of spring will make us grateful to call Madison home.

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