Chamber: 2nd Fridays events continue to increase in popularity

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Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce Community Development Director Brittney Hudson speaks about 2nd Fridays at Wednesday morning’s Morning Blend meeting. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce held its monthly Morning Blend event Wednesday at Rumors Deli. Over coffee and breakfast goodies, the morning’s discussion centered around the success of last week’s 2nd Fridays event.

Community Development Director Brittney Hudson shared, “It started out as a separate venture. The Chamber had an event called ‘Hops & Shops’ on second Fridays and the (City of Cullman) parks and rec department had 1st Fridays where they were in the (Festhalle) Farmers’ Market. After a while we started to join forces which became the 2nd Fridays events. Right now, it has reached upwards of about a half-mile stretch, so about eight blocks now.”

The feedback at Wednesday’s meeting was that the June 14 2nd Fridays event, the first of this summer, was the most successful thus far. Chamber staff gave a preview of new things it will bring to the remaining events planned throughout the summer.

The R.E. Garrison Show Lot will feature live music and a camping theme in July. The lot will host some new RVs for guests to visit. Alabama National Guard recruiters will also return with their rock wall, as well as the gladiator pit. The lot will have many activities for kids and giveaways in the Buffalo Wild Wings Kids’ Zone.

Magan Bartlett, who oversees member services, spoke about the planned activities at Depot Park, sharing, “This year will be the first year we will be at Depot Park for all four months.”

In July, activities in Depot Park will focus on a night for the ladies. Sips n Strokes will be set up in the park and the library will bring its popular goat yoga class.

Bartlett said, “This really is a fun event if you haven’t been. There is something for everyone.”

Last Friday’s event had several food vendors, but the vendors ran out of food near the end of the night. Next month will see additional food trucks including ones from Pimento and Wacked Out Weiner to join Augusta’s Sports Grill, Johnny’s Bar-B-Q, Devil Dawgs and Domino’s Pizza.

Tourism Director Roger Steele spoke about the Farm Y’all area at the Festhalle, saying, “We have the farmers’ market, and the opening of Depot Park has brought many more people to the market.”

Last Friday the market held a watermelon seed spitting contest, with the winning seed going an impressive 25 feet, 5 inches. Next month the Farm Y’all area will have a cake walk.

The Classic Car Cruise-In continues to grow and bring in more visitors to Cullman. According to the Chamber’s Brian Poole, the first event last year saw 235 cars and by the end of the year the festival had 299 cars. Last Friday, 310 cars signed in for the cruise-in.

Chamber Ambassador Jacqueline Schendel had great feedback for the Chamber staff, saying, “The crowd was the biggest I had ever seen. You see all ages and people bring their dogs and they bring their little kids and they bring their cars. It’s a great event to come meet your friends and to see the vendors, to see the cars. I mean there is so much that goes on and it’s FREE. People come from other areas to this event because it’s safe, it’s clean, it’s free and it’s enjoyable. It’s just a great event and I applaud the Chamber because I know this is a lot of work for you guys.”

The next 2nd Fridays event will be July 12 starting at 5 p.m.

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com