Another Madison summer favorite is returning to State Street, but will offer up an extra day of outdoor shopping.
Maxwell Street Days will be a four-day event this year beginning on July 15, the Greater State Street Business Association announced Monday.
The outdoor clothing, jewelry, books and artwork marketplace event, which in years past has drawn 30,000 people Downtown, was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic and in 2019 was interrupted by power outages when an electrical transformer exploded.
Expanding Maxwell Street Days to four days from three is being seen as a way to help retailers who over the past 15 months have been hampered by COVID-19, protests and looting after the killing of George Floyd, and windows covered with plywood.
“It’s just vital for our downtown businesses to give them that opportunity,” said Tiffany Kenney, executive director of Madison’s Central Business Improvement District. “This is like a two-year build-up. I think it’s going to be some of the best shopping we’ve seen in a long time.”
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. About 60 businesses typically take part in the event, but as of Monday, nine businesses have asked for a second location to expand their presence. In addition, some downtown businesses not located on State Street will take over spaces in front of vacant storefronts to take part in the annual event, Kenney said.
State Street will be closed to all bike and bus traffic during the event and on the Friday night of Maxwell Street Days there will be live music and a DJ in the 100 block of State Street as part of the ongoing Mad Lit series, which begins July 2 and runs each Friday through Oct. 8.
The free events by the Greater Madison Music City project are designed to highlight local artists, businesses of color, visual exhibits and community-led workshops. The July 16 show features the music of Orquesta Salsol Del Mad and DJ Chamo, and will run from 8 to 11 p.m.
Maxwell Street Days is organized by the Greater State Street Business Association with support from Madison’s Central Business Improvement District and has been a Downtown staple for over 40 years.