CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism (CPRST) has named Steven Sides as Burgermeister of Cullman Oktoberfest 2020. Sides is a Cullman native, son of Jack and Ruth Sides. He is the executive director of the Cullman Housing Authority and serves on several committees of the Alabama Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities. He is also a member of the Cullman Kiwanis Club, President of The Friends of Frankweiler Club, President of the Cullman City Schools Foundation and has served on the Oktoberfest Committee for five years.
Said Sides, “Being a member of the Oktoberfest Committee has given me a greater appreciation of what a group of determined, single-minded people can accomplish through devotion to a project and lots of hard work.”
Sides is married to Kathy Pitzing Sides, also a Cullman native. The couple has two daughters: Katelyn who lives in Huntsville, and Lana who lives in Mobile; both routinely return home for Oktoberfest.
Sides also told The Tribune, “We have three crazy dogs and no real hobbies unless working in our yard every weekend with Kathy would be considered one.”
Asked what it means to him to be named Burgermeister, Sides replied, “I am very honored to have been selected to be the 2020 Burgermeister. I am also humbled to be included in a long list of some of Cullman’s finest who have been awarded this title as well. After being notified of being selected, you also realize there is a lot of time and energy that is required to carry on the tradition and legacy of the past Burgermeisters.”
Celebrating Cullman’s German heritage: a family tradition
Sides told The Tribune, “Cullman is very proud of its German heritage, and there is no better way to celebrate it than through Oktoberfest, which has been a part of October in Cullman for over 30 years. Cullman’s Oktoberfest also has (a more) special meaning to us than other Oktoberfests, since our city founder, Col. Johann Gottfried Cullmann’s hometown is Frankweiler, Germany, which is also Cullman’s sister city. My dad, Jack Sides, was mayor of Cullman when in 1987 a delegation of Cullman citizens went to Frankweiler, and Mayor Sides and Burgermeister Stiess signed the Twinning of the Cities, making us Sister Cities. That is very special to me and gives Cullman a personal connection to Germany and Oktoberfest. Our Oktoberfest is a truly family-oriented event with children’s activities, antique car cruise-ins and a community commitment that everyone is German for a week!”
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