2nd Friday downtown celebrations return June 11

Brothers Sawyer and Ethan Hunt enjoy one of the many carnival rides at the August 2019 2nd Friday celebration. This year’s planners promise even more kids’ activities. (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – After the 2020 hiatus, people are ready to head back out, and the City of Cullman is eager to accommodate. On Friday, June 11, the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce, Cullman Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism, Cullman Downtown Merchants Association and Warehouse District Association will host the first of three 2nd Fridays celebrations along 1st Avenue from the Festhalle through the Warehouse District, all the way down to the Busy Bee Cafe. 

CPRST Director Zac Wood said, “Everybody’s excited about it. I think the public’s excited and ready to come out. I think they showed that on Strawberry Festival, the way everybody showed up and showed out; also for Dinner on First, as many people were there . . . people are ready to get out and do something.” 

Event coordinator Keith Varden, who recently joined the COC staff, told The Tribune, “We’re excited this year. We’re excited to get events happening again this year. I’m not too familiar with the past; I know that a lot of great work has been done for 2nd Fridays. People love it, and so we’re wanting to carry on that tradition. 

“The City, the Mayor, Cullman Parks and Rec, the Downtown Merchants Association, the Warehouse District Association–so everybody working together this year to make this thing happen. And Peggy Smith has been huge–she is the president of the Chamber–and so, we’ve been kind of putting this thing together, and feel like we’re going to have a great event that we believe everybody’s been waiting for. 

“And honestly, it’s just exciting for me to come on board and be able to work with everybody together, and so I’m excited about that.” 

Downtown and Warehouse District merchants will stay open into the evening, inviting shoppers to come in and browse while at the festival. 

Events of this month’s celebration include the ever popular classic and custom car cruise-in, sponsored by Agcor Steel and relocated this year from 1st Avenue to the parking lot across from the Festhalle with overflow on Arnold Street, along with: 

  • Kids’ zones and family zones near the Festhalle, near Busy Bee and at the intersection of 1st Avenue Southeast and 2nd Street Southeast, featuring inflatables and games.  
  • Carnival rides and mechanical bull 
  • R.E. Garrison Trucking show lot 
  • Food Truck Alley and Vendor Village on 1st Avenue between 1st Street Southeast and 2nd Street Southeast 
  • Beer Garden 
  • Farmers Market 

According to Varden, the number of children’s activities and rides have been increased over previous years. 

Pets on parade! 

June’s celebration will feature a pet parade at 6 p.m. near Busy Bee, emceed by the Tribune’s own Senior Reporter W.C. Mann. All pets are welcome. The $10 entry fee will support the Cullman County Animal Shelter. Registration forms are available at Happy Tails Groom & Board and Fairview Florist. Call 256-338-0223 for more information. 

Live music 

The event will also feature live music on four stages along the route with:  

  • Reid Haughton Music – Haleyville-born rising country singer/songwriter currently based in Auburn, whose songs are available on Apple Music and Spotify 
  • Chase Williamson Music – Albertville-born country singer/songwriter 
  • Blammo – Huntsville-based five-man rock band currently working on its first full-length album in Muscle Shoals  
  • Jason Brian Willingham and Katie McGee – Cullman-based duo who are members of the popular local band The Overtones 

Varden said, “We’re trying to make sure that, from each end, there’s something for everybody.” 

COC President Peggy Smith told The Tribune, “With the help of our partners, we are excited to have 2nd Fridays returning on June 11. We look forward to seeing everyone after a long year. Please join us for this wonderful tradition, and we can’t wait to see you.” 

Cullman will hold 2nd Friday celebrations in June, July and September. No event will be held in August due to Rock the South. 

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W.C. Mann