Revelers celebrate around the newly-lit tree in a flurry of man-made “snow” during the 2017 event. Around 7,000 attended, and this year could see an even bigger crowd. (Cullman Tribune file photo)
CULLMAN – With Thanksgiving behind us, we’re now into the Christmas season, and the City of Cullman and Cullman Parks, Recreation, and Sports Tourism (CP&R) are about to make it official with Christmas in Cullman, the city’s annual Christmas parade up First Avenue Southeast, and tree-lighting ceremony at Depot Park, starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.
CP&R Executive Director Nathan Anderson shared, “The parade route starts at Busy Bee, corner of Busy Bee on First (Avenue), and we’re going to run it all the way to Depot Park, and it’ll actually run through Depot Park, down First Avenue. We will then, at the end of the parade, we will all gather at Depot Park out in the street on Arnold (Street), in front of a large stage and our 42-foot tall Christmas tree to light the tree in a ceremony. Following that, we’ll have Anthem Lights, a group out of Nashville, and they’ll be performing a Christmas concert.”
Anthem Lights is a four-man contemporary Christian group with six albums to its credit since 2011. It has placed six singles in Billboard Magazine’s Top 40 Christian chart, and has twice cracked the Top 10 on Christian radio.
Wow factor promised, but a secret for now
CP&R seems to keep trying to up the wow factor in its Christmas celebrations with cool touches like last year’s “snowfall” around the tree at Depot Park. Anderson hinted that this year will continue the trend, but he won’t say how.
Said Anderson, “We are going to add to what we did last year, but we’ll leave that up for everybody to experience the night of. This is an exciting night!
“We do encourage everybody, based on the attendance we experienced last year, to get there early. We will have food and hot drinks available on the street as early as 4, so find your spot along the parade route by 5, because if you’re wanting to park in the parade area, you really need to be in your spot by 5, because we will close the streets down. You will be able to walk to the area, but you will not be able to bring your car onto First (Avenue) after 5.”
Continued Anderson, “We will have all the kids’ activities that you can imagine at the event. We will entertain the whole family while they’re here. We hope everybody comes out. We’re expecting an even larger attendance than last year. Last year, we were around 7,000 people that attended; this year we expect a much larger attendance than that.”
Anderson is looking forward to seeing the night come to fruition and gives credit to his employees and the City of Cullman.
“We’re excited about this. A lot of hard work has gone into this,” he said, “a great job from the Cullman Parks and Recreation team, and the support that we’ve experienced from other City departments, from safety personnel to street and sanitation. We really appreciate all the help to pull this thing off. And we also would like to thank our parade sponsor Mitch Smith (Chevrolet), and our tree-lighting sponsor Cullman Tribune, for their contributions to help make this possible.”
The event is free, but $10 VIP tickets are available and will reserve seats at the tree-lighting and concert. To order tickets, visit https://cullmanrecreation.formstack.com/forms/anthem_lights_vip_tickets.
At a glance
Cullman Christmas Parade and Tree-Lighting Ceremony
- Parade starts at 6 p.m., tree lighting follows parade and is expected to begin around 6:45
- Parade will start at the intersection of First Avenue Southeast and Fifth Street Southeast near Busy Bee and proceed down First Avenue to Depot Park
- Tree lighting will take place in Depot Park
- Concert by Anthem Lights will follow tree lighting in Depot Park.
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