Twinkling lights filled Town Park in Madison this past weekend as the Firefly Festival saw a record-breaking number of people enjoy both Kids’ Night on Friday and Date Night on Saturday. This annual community event had 400 children 12-years-of-age and younger come out on Friday – imagine how many people were there if the adults were counted – and over 1,000 wristbands sold on Saturday, not counting children under 12, city employees, and the 20 volunteers.
“We had a great crowd,” Main Street’s Event Coordinator Colleen Hall stated. “It was the biggest event in the park we’ve had; the only bigger event was when we had the home makeover crew out there.”
On Friday, the kids enjoyed exotic creatures brought out by Main Street Vet, a stilt-walker who spun his lasso around kids, performances by a local dance group, and a puppet show telling the Cherokee story of how fireflies came to be. Every child got a dessert treat. There were no worries about kids getting hopped up on sugar before bed since there was plenty more for the kids to do including bounce houses, dancing, and balloon twisters. “How are balloon twisters active for the kids,” you might ask. Well, did anyone else in attendance see the epic duals with the balloon swords?
Gigantic bubbles were made by the children that were sometimes two or three times longer than the child was tall. The kids, many with faces painted either in part or in entirety, also rode a trackless train that travelled around the park and circled the fountain.
“The trackless train was a big hit,” Hall noted. “And event sponsor Triplett Family Chiropractic gave free spinal exams and scoliosis checks for the kids.”
Kids who wore firefly costumes – wings and all – also received a special prize.
On Saturday’s Date Night, the Athens band the Sensational Sounds of Mo-Town brought out the dancers, literally calling all the shaggers in the park to come out to the dance area and show off their moves. Of course, shagging wasn’t the only dance style to move to the music as swing, general moves and grooves, and line-dancing continued throughout the night, which extended for the first time until 10:30 p.m. People from all over Morgan County and even some from surrounding counties mixed and mingled as they picnicked and partied. Individuals previously unacquainted learned steps from one another on the dance floor, smiles were abundant, and laughter mixed into the music.
The Firefly Festival’s ninth year was sponsored by Main Street Vet, Triplett Family Chiropractic, Ferst Readers (formerly the Ferst Foundation), Juturna Water Systems, Madison Christian Church, Algin Realty, America’s Natural Gas, and the Morgan County Citizen. A big thank you to everyone who made this event happen!
“Now that Firefly is over, we’re gearing up for a new event: Saturday in the Park DJ Dance Party,” Hall mentioned.
Saturday in the Park will be held on September 22 in Town Park from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with music from the 1970s! Tickets are $10 for adults at the gate, and children 12 years old and younger are free. Picnics, blankets, and chairs are welcome to be brought in. Tables on the Gazebo terrace and lawn tents may be rented on a first come first serve basis – just like the Firefly Festival – by contacting Madison Main Street at (706) 342-1251 x208.