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City’s history will come to life in Volksmarch of Madison this Saturday

MADISON – Madison has been celebrating its 150th anniversary, along with the bicentennial of Alabama’s statehood, all year. This Saturday those celebrations will culminate in a unique look into the city’s past.

The 2nd annual Volksmarch of Madison will be held Nov. 2. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Madison, the event will feature a stroll through the streets of downtown Madison to watch history come alive.

The event was scheduled for Oct. 26, but rain last week pushed it back to this Saturday.

Participants can park and register at Madison City Schools Stadium as starting point for Volksmarch. To register online, visit madisonalrotary.org/volksmarch or volksmarch.eventbrite.com.

Volksmarch will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 2 p.m. Walkers will proceed north on Celtic Drive and meander through downtown streets. In Old Madison Cemetery, members of the Balch, Gooch, Clemens, Palmer and Sturdivant families will detail the lives of generations of city founders.

“These are the families who built their homes in the Historical District,” said event coordinator Bailey Erickson. “Enactments will also tell of the two Civil War battles fought near the Roundhouse in Front Street and along Indian Creek.”

The Madison Historical Society has ensured that all information is historically accurate.

The Volksmarch will also feature:

TIME CAPSULE: At registration, the Madison Historical Preservation Society will ask participants to sign a scroll which will be placed inside a time capsule along with a key to the city of Madison and a city coin. The time capsule will be buried during a ceremony with the Mayor of Madison at the end of the Volksmarch.

COSTUME CONTEST: Participants are asked to dress in period costume from any era between 1819 and 2019. The Madison Historical Society will judge the costumes and award prizes at 2 pm at Old Black Bear on Main Street.

BANK ROBBERY of 1928: The Boy Scouts will re-enact the Bank Robbery of 1928 at 204 Main St. and cart the robbers over to a stock built by the Madison Historical Preservation Society at Main Street Café, the site of Madison’s original jail. John T. Wayne, the grandson of the actor John Wayne, will be a character in this skit with the Boy Scouts.

LIVING CEMETERY: The Girl Scouts will have re-enactors dressed in period costume telling about those buried on Mill Road and how they built Madison.

DULCIMER group: A group of five dulcimer players will be entertaining participants along the route.

HISTORIC HOMES and MADISON CHURCH on CHURCH St.: Girl Scouts well be dressed in period costume telling about the historic homes and the Church on Church St and the families who lived there.

FANTASY PLAYHOUSE THEATER: actors will be in two locations, singing Alabama Folk songs and showing children the games that were played by children in the 1800s.

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY: A local group will discuss African American history in Alabama along the route.

WEST MADISON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:  Three re-enactors (Scouts) will talk about being a schoolteacher and a student in the early 1900s.

BUTTERMILK ALLEY: Three re-enactors will talk about the lady in Buttermilk Alley who fed cornbread and buttermilk to hobos who jumped off of the train in Madison looking for food.

VILLAGE GREEN: There will be a historical encampment of 30 to 40 actors dressed in period costume giving presentations on flags, weapons, etc. used during the 1800s in Alabama. They will bring a cannon and Union and Confederate Soldiers may re-enact the short battle at Madison Station. LaBelle Boyd will present her tea room and teach listeners about how life was for women and children during the 1800s in Alabama. You may also see President Lincoln and Horace King who built Alabama’s capitol building.

MUSICIANS: The Huntsville Porch Pickers and the group Mill Towne will play songs from 1819 to 2019 in the Gazebo on the Village Green next to the encampment.

OCTOBERFEST: At the end participants are asked to join a celebration in Old Black Bear which will host a German band and a German lunch buffet.

TIME CAPSULE CEREMONY: At 2:15 pm, Mayor Finley of Madison and others will bury the time capsule at a location on Main Street thereby bringing the celebration to a close.

All proceeds will benefit Rotarians’ local projects. For more information, email volksmarch@madisonalrotary.org.

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