City, County, Chamber come together for 30th annual Christmas Open House Nov. 13-15

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Left to right are Cullman Chamber Tourism Board Chairman Josh Wiggins, Cullman Chamber Board Chair Kay Shabel, Cullman County Commissioner Gary Marchman and Cullman City Council President Dr. Jenny Folsom at Friday’s announcement. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman’s Christmas Open House, which traditionally kicks off the local holiday shopping season, this year will be a joint effort and local businesses can register to participate for free. Joining the City of Cullman in the annual event, this year dubbed the Cullman Area Christmas Open House, are the Cullman Chamber of Commerce and the Cullman County Commission.

Representatives from all three entities made the joint announcement Friday atop the Cullman Savings Bank parking deck downtown. The 30th annual Cullman Area Christmas Open House will be held Nov. 13-15, 2020. Patrons shopping at participating businesses will find Christmas deals, festive decorations and special promotions/events.

“For years Cullman has kicked off the Christmas season with Christmas Open House and I can remember coming back home from Huntsville just for this weekend,” Chamber Board Chair Kay Shabel said.  “I’m so happy this is back; it’s going to be a great event for everyone. Everyone is welcome to sign up and be a part of it: hotels, retailers, salons, everybody. Let’s all be a part of this and help unify Cullman together. I think everybody is ready to get out. This has been a strange year, so let’s have the best Cullman Christmas Open House ever.”

Commissioner Garry Marchman, speaking on behalf of the Cullman County Commission, shared his excitement for the upcoming festivities as well. He said he believes this group effort can have a positive effect on the entire community and help make this as fun a Christmas season as any.

“On behalf of Cullman County and the Cullman County Commission I just want to say thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak and also to encourage this unity that we’re looking for in our county, cities and municipalities to come together and have a wonderful time this Christmas,” he said “Like you’ve heard people say, it’s just been a crazy time for us. We have looked to federal government, state government and local government for answers to this craziness, but you know there’s only one real answer to everything going on and that’s unifying people. It’s about you and about me and about us because our government can’t fix these problems, so this is something we have to look at it and I’m just proud to be a part of it because it’s an effort to unify Cullman.”

Cullman City Council President Dr. Jenny Folsom echoed the others, hopeful for the positive impact the event might have in a year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year the Chamber, the County and the City of Cullman are excited to be partnering in this event that we feel will be more important than ever,” she said. “In years past, we have asked the businesses to help fund this event, but this year we’re excited to say we have pooled our resources and there is no charge for anyone to participate in the event. We’re using these funds to promote the event statewide through print advertising, radio, social media and TV.”

Business owners who want to participate in this year’s Cullman Area Christmas Open House need to take the following steps:

  • Register your business at www.cullmanopenhouse.com.
  • Businesses are encouraged to decorate for the holiday season
  • Plan a giveaway at your business. (It can be anything from a $20 gift card, a candle, popcorn, etc.)
  • Share the event on your website, social media outlets, email lists or any forms of communication you have with your customers.

The first 10 businesses to register will be included in a promotional video for the event.

Folsom also reminded everyone of other Christmas events that will take place in Cullman after the Open House.

“I’d also like to share that after the Christmas Open House weekend, we’ll have things going on just about every weekend until Christmas,” she said. “Nov. 21, we have Christmas in the Warehouse District, Nov. 27 we’ll have the lighting of the German Christmas pyramid at the Cullman County Museum, Dec. 4 is Christmas in Cullman- and this event includes the Christmas parade (and) annual tree lighting ceremony- and on Dec. 11 and 12, we will have our first Christkindl market, which is a German Christmas market, that will be held in Depot Park. We hope these events will keep people coming to our community throughout the whole Christmas season.”

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Nick Griffin

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