The City of Madisonville will be starting a new Christmas tradition this year with Christmas Festival on the Square.
The event is planned to span over three weekends with different activities happening during each of the trio of weekends.
Melanie Atkins, a member of the Downtown Madisonville Alliance, stated the festival is planned to start on Nov. 26 with a lighting of the square.
“That will be at 7 p.m. and we will light up the entire downtown of Madisonville,” Atkins said. “The courthouse and all of the businesses will turn on their lights for the lighting of the square and we will have a free concert by Chris Blue on the 26th.”
The actual festival is planned to start the next day on Nov. 27.
“The days will be Nov. 27, Dec. 4, and Dec. 11,” she noted. “We will have craft vendors, food vendors, pictures with Santa all day, and on the 27th we will have Miss Merry Christmas Pageant.”
Dec. 4 will feature a Christmas parade hosted in joint effort between the Downtown Madisonville Alliance and the Kiwanis Club and Dec. 11 will feature a downtown concert.
“We also have tons of activities from local churches, local businesses, hay rides, different performers from dance academies and cheerleading groups,” she noted. “We really wanted to make this a community event so we can bring people downtown.”
She noted the focus of the events were to help revitalize and bring economic development to Madisonville.
“We are excited that we have new businesses coming in downtown and are making it their home,” Atkins expressed. “We really want to bring in more people and invite them to shop, eat and learn more about our town.”
The idea came to the alliance after several of them took a trip to Dahlonega, Georgia and witnessed their Christmas festival.
“We thought that we could do something like that and we wanted to bring that to Madisonville,” she recalled. “This will stimulate the economy and give people something to be excited about and they can come and celebrate Christmas.”
She hopes this is something the town will be excited for and that the event will continue to grow in the future.
“This year, if we can just get local people to come out, get involved and have a good experience then next year we hope to grow it beyond our local community,” she expressed. “This year, however, we just want to provide something for our local people that they can enjoy and appreciate and get excited about.”
The Downtown Madisonville Alliance is currently in the process of obtaining their 501(c)3 to become recognized as a non-profit organization.
“The reason that we wanted to do this is so that we can get grants, donations and things that we can utilize to promote the town and help it grow,” she said. “This festival has been a group effort. We have seven different committees that have been working for months on this event, so many people from the community have been involved in this event and we just want this to be something that everyone can be proud of and enjoy this Christmas season.”