Big tree, big crowd


The 41-foot-tall Christmas tree was a sight to behold, especially after the “snow” began to drift down from its top. / W.C. Mann

Man, what an amazing night!”
Cullman Parks and Recreation Director Nathan Anderson

CULLMAN – It was a night to remember in downtown Cullman Friday, as the city rolled out its holiday best for “Christmas in Cullman.”  A parade ran down First Avenue from the Busy Bee Cafe through the Warehouse District, and on to Depot Park.  Included were numerous local businesses, churches and ministries, elected officials and candidates, city and county agencies, and the marching bands from Holly Pond and Hanceville High schools.

Once the parade reached Depot Park, visitors packed the space, walking among giant light displays, listening to and singing along with Cullman’s own Round 2, enjoying pony rides and inflatables for the kids, listening to City Council President Garlan Gudger read the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke, and counting down with Miss Hannah Jacobs to the lighting of the city’s biggest Christmas tree to date.  After the tree was lit, visitors even got to play in “snow” at its base.

Cullman Parks and Recreation put on Christmas in Cullman, and CP&R Director Nathan Anderson seemed almost awestruck at the success of the event.  His word for the evening was “amazing.”

“Man, what an amazing night,” exclaimed Anderson.  “It’s a special night that I think all of us will remember for a long time.

“We’ve got an amazing 41-foot-tall Christmas tree that blows snow out of the top of it.  We just lit the tree, and thousands of people are gathered around it, singing Christmas carols and having a great time!”

When asked how many visitors CP&R had anticipated for the event, Anderson replied, “Well, not this many!  We had high expectations for the crowd, based off of last year, but it is truly amazing how many people came this year for this event, for the parade and for the tree lighting.

“We have an amazing team in the city.  This is an amazing group effort to put this thing on, from the parade to the tree lighting ceremony.  We had great citizen involvement.  We are truly blessed in Cullman with a great, amazing team. We come together to do things that are special, just like this.”

Christmas festivities continue around town Saturday, including the Cullman County Christmas Parade at noon in Hanceville.

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