This past Saturday I went to the Madison Street Festival. I don’t usually buy anything, but I try to go every year. It’s a fun way to spend about an hour walking around and seeing things. I was especially pleased to see that our Mayor had a booth set up for anyone who wanted to stop by and ask him questions. I don’t remember any of our past mayors doing this, and it just reaffirms my belief that he’s got the right attitude about his job and makes me glad I voted for him.
As I was walking around, I noticed one booth that seemed out of place. This booth was also present at last year’s Street Festival, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to see it again, but still. Rather than taint your decision process, let me just take you on a kind of virtual tour of the Street Festival and see if you notice anything unusual.
- Park at the church parking lot and then walk down that little side street that leads into historic downtown Madison, where the street festival is held.
- Hang a right and see the table set up with fresh fruit, as well as jars of locally made honey and sorghum molasses. Boy, that looks good. Might have to stop by this table on the way back.
- Walk a little further down and see a fellow who is a professional storyteller. He’s taking a break right now, but he is selling one of his CDs.
- Up ahead on the right is one of the city’s fire engines. They’re letting little kids get up on it and have their picture taken. The kids seem to be having a lot of fun. I bet my two year-old nephew would seriously get into climbing around that fire truck if he were here.
- Time to cross the railroad tracks over to the adjoining street where there are more booths. Here’s the Salvation Army, with their little red bucket, collecting money for disaster victims. Their lone saxophone player is playing “April in Paris”, and doing a fine job of it. I stop and put a twenty in the little red bucket.
- Ahead on the left are the Raelians, described by Wikipedia as the largest UFO cult in the world. Next door to them is a lady selling various handwoven items with the logos of different football teams.
- Further ahead, up on the hill, is a tent where art work by local school kids is displayed. I stop by to check it out (and to enjoy the shade for a few minutes). As always, I’m amazed by how talented some of our local young artists are.
- I leave the art tent and pass the mayor’s booth that I mentioned earlier. He’s talking to a small group of citizens and pointing out something on a large map of the city.
- Hey, there’s my friend Steve! Hi, Steve! Steve tells me that his girls played with one of the bands earlier this morning and so he came out to hear them. We talk for a few minutes and then go on our separate ways.
- Up on the left is a big stand selling lemonade, hot dogs, funnel cakes, you name it. All of that bad stuff that you only ever eat at places like this. It’s a little too close to lunch so I walk on by for now.
- Ahead on the right are the Madison County Democrats, their table not too far from the Republican Women of Madison. They seem to be peacefully coexisting.
- I round the bend and cross the railroad tracks again, heading into the home stretch. A group of cheerleaders and someone dressed up as a dog pass by. The dog is wearing what I think is a fireman’s helmet, so maybe he’s some kind of safety dog. I chose not to ask him.
- Heading down the street, I pass several games, like a beanbag toss and a fishing booth. Finally, I turn back down the side street I came in on and head back to my car.