Inaugural Madison Railyard festival lauded for food, music

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MADISON, Ala. — Crowds at the inaugural Madison Railyard BBQ and Music Fest enjoyed a day of food and a evening with a country music star Saturday night.

It’s a big name – for what city officials are calling a big night for historic downtown Madison.

Madison City Councilman Greg Shaw told News 19 he’d tried for years to organize such a large event with his colleagues to help showcase the results of the historic downtown’s transformation. A safer situation in the pandemic help made it possible.

“I think everybody wants to get out and be sociable,” Shaw said. “I think they wanna be safe, so an outdoor environment is a safe place for them to do that.”

“Madison city spent a tremendous amount of money here with sidewalks, streets, and trying to grow this area. So this just fits right into that, being able to support these businesses,” Shaw continued.

Frederick Laue traveled from Tennessee to help his dad in the barbecue contest and see singer Rodney Atkins in concert.

“Just the environment, like it’s really fun,” Laue said. “Like having all this food, all the people. Like the music and stuff, it’s just really nice and welcoming.”

Manager of Butt Honey BBQ Walt Clarke was happy to sign up for the contest out of friendly competition with friends.

“It’s about the fun and camaraderie,” Clarke said. “Meeting the neighbors, exchanging recipes, and just having a good time.”

Organizers said they weren’t sure how many would show up considering this is the first edition of the event, but attendance has exceeded expectations, keeping a positive outlook for future occasions.

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