Madison Street Festival bigger than ever, helping and supporting the city

MADISON Ala. -- The Madison Street Festival is the city's biggest event and has been recognized as one of the top twenty festivals in Alabama.

It started back in 1976 as a bicentennial project of the Huntsville Museum of Art. Back then the streets weren't filled with as many people.

"It really started growing. It went to 10,000 to 12,000, jumped to 20,000. The estimate was 35,000 last year, so it is huge," said Debbie Overcash, the Publicity Chair or the  Madison Street Festival.

The festival offers art, music, crafts, food and fun for people of all ages.

"It helps Madison. It brings people together. It lets them see what a small town feels like in a small town," said Overcash.

The festival remains completely free. Overcash said that it isn't hard with the support they get.

"We're able to do it because of the sponsorships and the generosity of the public, and I cannot say enough about the city of Madison," she said. "They support us, public works, the police, fire, the Mayor's office has been extraordinary."

Overcash said this year's festival has the largest sponsorship base that it's ever had.

"Businesses not just on Main Street, but all over Madison support the Madison Street Festival," she said.

She estimates this years festival saw around 35,000 people, a number she says will continue to grow.

"Keep getting bigger and bigger, I hope. I hope. We've got more streets we can fill," she said.

The grand marshals of this year's Madison Street Festival parade were first responders. Police officers, firefighters, EMS and public works were also recognized for all they do for the city.