HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The city of Hartselle spent Saturday hosting its annual Depot Days Festival. For 42 years, the town has celebrated its history, growth, and ties to the railroad industry. The third Saturday in September marks the yearly celebration. Despite a rainy start, this year was no different.

Hundreds of people filled the downtown area ready to have a good time. Music, food, car shows, and slow tractor races took place during the event.

Jamie Hatcher is the Co-Director for Depot Days. She said the festival is a great way to recognize the early development of the city.

“Hartselle was founded because of the railroad and the railroad industry,” said Hatcher. “Our main stage is in between the old train depot its built in 1914, we’ve got the old freight house restaurant so we’ve got strong ties to the railroad and Depot Days is just a day to celebrate that heritage and who we are today.”

The railroad helped develop settlement in the town and boost economic opportunities. Today, trains can be seen transporting loads of mail, military supplies, and other cargo through the town.

Depot Days keeps the economic trend alive by showcasing local businesses during the event. Jaime Medlock and her husband started their small business Medlock Design Co. a little over a year ago. As a Cullman native, she said festivals like this one create exposure to larger areas.

“Getting our name out in a wider range of an area besides where we’re from has been really great for us because we’re a brand new business so this is great for us to have this opportunity.”

The benefits come full circle for consumers who don’t wish to travel far.

“I like supporting our local business owners,” said Alaina Wiley. “I know some of the local business owners, I even go to church with one of them so I just think its great that we don’t have to drive an hour to Huntsville to just get everything in our backdoor and its great to be able to support local business owners.”