The Gardens of Madison County will host the kick-off party on the evening of Friday, May 5, 2017. This year's party will take place at the historic town of Livingston.
Livingston was a flourishing commercial center before the Civil War. In fact, in 1829 Livingston was named the county seat of Madison County and served as an important trading center for nearby plantations.However, railroads were built elsewhere in the county and the town was bypassed which led to its eventual decline. After being desolate for many years, developers started a movement to bring back the spirit of Livingston. In 2012, Livingston hosted a summertime farmers market that entertained people with food and music. After becoming a trending attraction, things began to progress.
By 2013, developers started a $73 million construction project to rebuild and reinvent the town of Livingston. The development now includes two restaurants, "The County Seat" and "The Gathering," a cooking school, a men's barber shop, a candy store, an exclusive wine store, as well as a floral shop. One of the most popular spots in Livingston is the Mercantile Store, a general store with gourmet groceries, gifts, provisions and a full service gas station with classic, old-fashioned pumps. The town has become a gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
In the spirit of gathering, MRA is delighted to host our annual kickoff to the Gardens weekend with our Garden Party on the grounds of the historic town. The party will be held under bistro lights in the town square and will feature live music and fabulous food. Livingston's very own " The Gathering " restaurant will prepare and display some of their own signature “pickins.” Pickled shrimp, pimento cheese sandwiches, farmer pea hummus and chicken in waffle cones will be some of the items for tasting. In addition to the food and music, art, jewelry, gifts, and travel packages will be auctioned in both live and silent auctions with all proceeds going to benefit MRA development.