People who make downtown Huntsville a place to visit gather to reflect on 2019

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Growth in downtown Huntsville has exploded in the past few years. New real estate is constantly popping up and annual events seem to get bigger every year.

Downtown Huntsville is evolving at the speed of light. A couple of weeks ago the Mars Music Hall wasn't even open. Friday it hosted an award ceremony celebrating the growth of Huntsville.

Chad Emerson, the president of Downtown Huntsville Inc., says they are excited about the city's growth.

U.S. News and World Report chose the city as the best affordable place to live in the U.S.  SmartAsset Reports rated Huntsville of the top 10 cities for career opportunities.

It's also a place people want to visit.

"It's exciting for us at the conventions and visitors bureau to go out and share all of the amenities that we have," said Judy Ryals with the Huntsville/Madison County Convention &Visitors Bureau.

Every person, business, and event contributed to the city's growth, but a few stood out.

The Moon Bakeshop was voted Project of The Year. Shane Davis was voted downtown advocate of the year. And the Huntsville Coffee and Tea Festival won "Event of The Year."

Gavin Goodman is the CEO of Southern Hospitality Experiences, the company that hosted the event. He says that the money they raised at the festival went to a great cause

"The Coffee and Tea Festival was a premier coffee and tea festival for the Make A Wish Foundation, and we were able to grant three wishes," he said.

Goodman says they knew downtown Huntsville was the perfect place to be.

"This just shows that Huntsville really does care about charity events and working with their local community," he said.

Leaders say they are looking forward to adding several new businesses and attractions to downtown Huntsville in 2020.

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