Maxwell Street Days in Madison WI
State Street’s Maxwell Street Days, presented by the Greater State Street Business Association, is Madison’s oldest and largest sidewalk sale event. Begun in 1976 by a downtown clothing store called Martin’s, the sale has evolved into a two day event encompassing the entire street, with merchants plying their wares on the street, restaurateurs feeding the masses of shoppers, and musicians creating a fun and festive atmosphere celebrating downtown Madison. Continued….
Maxwell Street Days takes its name from the famed street of the same name located on Chicago’s near west side. By 1900, this area was a thriving, residential and commercial area, populated largely by immigrant workers and their families. Around 1910, pushcart businesses began spreading onto Maxwell Street, and the Maxwell Street Market was established officially by the City of Chicago in 1912. Providing a livelihood for many and convenient, inexpensive shopping for thousands, the Maxwell Street Market was a colorful, interesting place to visit with well known vendors, local characters, food specialties, and music. Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market gave way to urban development in 1994.
State Street’s Maxwell Street Days, in homage to that flea market-food-music venue, draws thousands of bargain hungry and just-plain-hungry shoppers to the street for two days on Friday and Saturday of the third weekend of every July. Estimates are that 20,000 to 50,000 people visit the street that weekend.