Strawberries and sunshine: Strawberry Festival this Saturday; Senior Shindig Friday morning

Crowds fill Depot Park during 2017’s Strawberry Festival (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – It’s Strawberry Festival time in Cullman! This year marks the 80th anniversary of the popular event, which started in 1939. The festival includes the Senior Shindig, 5K and a full day of live music, kids’ activities, food trucks, games, a farmer’s market, plenty of strawberries and more than 100 vendors in an arts and crafts show. Capping off this year’s festivities will be Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at 8 p.m. Saturday night.

WHNT 19 Chief Meteorologist (and Cullman County native) Jason Simpson said of Saturday’s weather: “About as good as it gets: chilly early but sunny and pleasantly warm Saturday. Highs in the low-70s.”

Here’s this year’s schedule of events:

Friday, April 26- Strawberry Festival Senior Shindig, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Cullman Festhalle

The Senior Shindig is sponsored by Cullman Parks, Recreation, & Sports Tourism, the Cullman County Commission on Aging and Wal-Mart Transportation.

Lunch will be provided for the first 300 seniors 50 and older. The Senior Shindig will feature a buck dance contest, talent show (please register with the Commission on Aging prior to the event) and a bingo contest. The Fairlanes will also perform.

For more information or to register, call 256-734-1241 or 256-734-4803.

Saturday, April 27- Strawberry Festival 5K, 8 a.m.

Pre-register between April 20 – April 27 for $30. Day-of registration will take place from 7-7:30 a.m. The race will begin at 8 a.m.

Packet pickup will be Friday, April 26 from 2-6 p.m. at the Desperation Church in downtown Cullman or Saturday, April 27 at the event check-in. Runners will be chip-timed, and awards will be given out based on age group. The race will begin at the Cullman Festhalle.

Saturday, April 27- Strawberry Festival, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. at Cullman Festhalle and Depot Park

“Headlining the 2019 Cullman Strawberry Festival for the festival’s 80th anniversary will be Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. With a refreshed lineup and newfound energy, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band remains one of the most accomplished bands in American roots music. Following an extended 50th anniversary tour, the ensemble grew to a six-piece in 2018 for the first time since their early jug band days,” said a media release from CP&R.

“The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band played its first gig in southern California in 1966 and had become a cornerstone of the burgeoning country-rock community by 1969.  Its career breakthrough came in 1970 with the release of the record ‘Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy’ and the single ‘Mr. Bojangles,’ a folky Top 10 pop hit that remains a staple of the (band’s) live show.  The band secured sixteen Top 10 country hits between 1983 and 1990, including three number 1 singles: ‘Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper’s Dream),’ ‘Modern Day Romance,’ and ‘Fishin’ in the Dark.’

Cullman Parks, Recreation, and Sports Tourism Executive Director Nathan Anderson shared, “Since it’s the 80th anniversary of the state’s oldest Strawberry Festival, we wanted to be sure to feature a great band to wrap up a big celebration. We hope that this band will bring back memories for many and be a part of creating new memories for all of us.”


8 a.m.

  • Arts & Crafts Fair opens
  • Farmers Market opens
  • Bernard Jazz Band performance

8 a.m.-9 p.m.

  • Kids’ activities
  • Food trucks

8:35 a.m.

  • CHS Choir and CMS Choir performance

9:30 a.m.

  • Cullman Community Band performance

10 a.m.

  • Baking Competition submissions close

11 a.m.

  • Cullman High School Jazz Band Performance

12:15 p.m.

  • Shannon McNeal performance

1 p.m.

  • Introduction of Miss Strawberry Queen & announcement of Baking Competition winner

2:30 p.m.

  • The Overtones performance

3-5 p.m.

  • Major League Fishing Meet & Greet

4 p.m.

  • Round 2 performance

6:30 p.m.

  • Blind the Sky performance

8 p.m.

  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Concert – FREE


For more information, visit

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Cullman Parks, Recreation, and Sports Tourism
Cullman Parks, Recreation, and Sports Tourism
Cullman Parks, Recreation, and Sports Tourism

Wendy Sack