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Parade opens Madison Street Festival on Oct. 7

MADISON – Always a crowd favorite, a hometown parade with hundreds of children, politicians, pageant beauties and local business people will open Madison Street Festival at 9 a.m. on Oct. 7.

“I would love for the 2017 MSF Parade to be the best ever,” parade coordinator Debbie Hoover said. Any church, civic, business or school group can register until Oct. 4 on the MSF website, madisonstreetfestival.org.

The parade will kick off at 9 a.m. from Insanity Complex, 100 Skate Park Drive (at the corner of Mill and Hughes roads). The parade units will proceed west on Mill Road, turn south on Church Street, turn west on Front Street and turn north on Sullivan Street. Entries in the parade will disband at Madison Elementary School’s parking lot, 17 College St.

“The Huntsville Drumline is returning,” Hoover said about the upbeat, entertaining group of percussionists. A parade in Madison would not be complete without the flash and polished sounds of the bands from James Clemens and Bob Jones high schools.

In their first parade appearance, Madison Senior Center Dancers will add flair and style to the day. On the opposite end of the age spectrum, many students in local dance studios will promenade to show their skills.

Numerous Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops will march. Hockey players with Huntsville Havoc, who all live in Madison, will pump the crowd with their mascot and giveaways.

Gold Star Family members will serve as Grand Marshals of the Madison Street Festival parade.

Gold Star Families are “the surviving families of fallen service members. These families lost a family member while he or she was active duty in the military,” Kerrie Branson said. Branson is Program Manager for Survivor Outreach Services, Army Community Service on Redstone Arsenal.

“The MSF committee reviewed several very worthy groups to be honored. The decision was made to show Madison’s love and recognition of the tremendous sacrifices Gold Star Families have made by losing a loved one in the wars: spouse, mother, father, daughter, son, grandson, granddaughter,” MSF committee member Faye Wishik said.

MSF volunteers will present awards to the top three floats, along with an honorable mention.

After the parade ends, MSF’s opening ceremony will be held at the Madison Gazebo on Front Street. James Clemens Band will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” and other entertaining, upbeat music.

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