Celebrate Cullman! Downtown merchants throw their biggest party of the year

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Brothers Sawyer and Ethan Hunt enjoy one of the many carnival rides at Celebrate Cullman Friday evening. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – In downtown Cullman, 2nd Fridays events have become a big summertime thing, but last night, things got even bigger as the Cullman Downtown Merchants Association’s Celebrate Cullman event joined the party.  

Running simultaneously with 2nd Fridays, sponsored by the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce and Cullman Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism, Celebrate Cullman  featured carnival rides and games, live music and downtown retailers and restaurants staying open late to give visitors a full evening of fun. All of the rides and games were free, and kids could get tickets to spend at a prize tent.

Event coordinator Ron Pierce called it “Chuck E. Cheese without the cost!”

Celebrate Cullman began in 2011 as a way to let people know that downtown Cullman was making a comeback from the tornadoes that leveled portions of the retail district.

Pierce explained, “Celebrate Cullman is a result of the 2011 tornadoes that came through here and actually closed the two blocks that we’re in right here.  Most of the stores that were in it- Busy Bee (Café) was wiped out. Berkeley Bob’s wasn’t hurt real bad, but a lot of other stores in this two-block area were. This whole blocked area was closed off.”

Continued Pierce, “So we had Celebrate Cullman, and Nathan Anderson that heads up the parks department was a big part of that.  We wanted to bring people back downtown to shop, because they weren’t sure it was open again yet.  So, every year since 2011, we’ve tried to have Celebrate Cullman where we give all this back to the community, where rides are free, games are free and prizes are free. 

“We’ve got some good food vendors.  We’ve got Link’s from up at Mae’s Food Hall, we’ve got a taco truck, we’ve got a pizza guy, we’ve got Sno-Biz.  You know, it’s great: lots of games, lots of fun, lots of family atmosphere.”

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com

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Heather Mann

heather@cullmantribune.com