MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — Thousands of people poured into the City of Madison on Saturday for the 40th annual Madison Street Festival.

Food, art, and music were available for visitors to enjoy. Local businesses and organizations engaged in community outreach as well. Over the past 40 years, the festival has grown. After a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, festival organizers said this year’s event was the largest ever.

“We plan all year for a festival like this to bring people together to have a fun day,” said Madison Street Festival President Crystal McBrayer.

The event acts as an annual fundraiser benefiting local education programs. Since 2012, the festival has raised $64,000 for local education grants that have gone towards a variety of programs including local schools and senior centers.

“We raise our money through sponsorship and vendor fees,” McBrayer said. “Then, we take that money to pay to host it, and we take all the profits after that before we start our startup costs for the next year, and we give that back in grants to education. That’s really our heart, and that’s our mission.”

The festival board is accepting applications for this year’s grant money until Oct. 31st. The application process is open to anyone with an idea for a local educational program.