Huntsville, Alabama can be located within the northern section of the state. It is mainly situated within Madison County with parts of its western border extending into Limestone County. According to the 2010 Census, the city's population was about 180,100 and the population of the Huntsville Metropolitan Area was 417,593. The city of Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. In addition, it is the 4th biggest city in Alabama State and is also the largest city in the 4-county Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. During the year 2008, the population was 545,770 for this region.
John Hunt was the first settler within the region back during 1805. The town would initially go by the name of Twickenham, that represented the hometown of Alexander Pope back in England. On November 25, 1811, the township was renamed "Huntsville," after its first settler. The city of Huntsville itself has grown along the Tennessee River and across neighboring hills, adding textile mills in the beginning and then munitions factories. In time, the city of Huntsville grew and became home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the Redstone Arsenal USA Army Aviation and Missile Command.
Within the greater Huntsville vicinity, there are various cultural activities and amenities. There are festivals, historical cemeteries and museums to enjoy. There are many activities for everyone to enjoy. Among the Top 20 events within the Southeast according to the Southeastern Tourism Society is the Panoply Festival of the Arts. This event features 5 stages showcasing dance, theatre and music performances. There is an artist choreography competition as well as a variety of activities for children.
The Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll consists of residents dressed in period costumes who are representing famous Huntsville inhabitants from days gone by. The history of the state of Alabama can be explored at the Alabama Constitutional Village also. Here, employees wear period clothing as villagers of the time and take tourists on tours of Federal style buildings and the grounds.
There are more than 40 Fortune 500 companies with facilities within the city. The city also has numerous international hi-tech companies. Military technology and aerospace as well as research and development are big economic factors for Huntsville. Defense agencies and US space agencies are likewise located in Huntsville. Amongst the major centers for the technology based economy consist of the Cummings Research Park as well as the Redstone Arsenal. Another significant player in the economy is NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
A lot of major aerospace companies have facilities operating in the city of Huntsville. Huntsville is also home to lots of telecommunications companies, computer graphics companies and commercial technology. The retail, manufacturing, education and healthcare sectors are also important factors for the economy. Approximately 20 percent of local employment within the area are due to the manufacturing sector, that consists of over 200 businesses. A lot of the highly skilled and trained manufacturing staff are involved with technology-based precision manufacturing. Another large number of jobs are accounted for by the support contract employment and the Military.