Cullman’s harbinger of autumn: The hay people

Crystal Curington, Megan Teague, Brian Kirk, Nancy Clemmons Moore and Bridget Sears pose in front of the hay people at U.S. Highway 278 and U.S. Highway 31 on Monday, Sept. 19. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The first sign of Oktoberfest was seen in Cullman Monday, as the hay people made their return to various locations around town including the intersection of U.S. Highways 278 and 31, Goat Island Brewing and Depot Park.  

The hay people were brought to life by Cullman’s Philip and Pat Clemmons, beloved community members and former posthumous burgermeisters. Inspirated during a trip to Germany in 1999 where the Clemmonses saw their first hay people, the couple made their own incarnation of the hay-stuffed favorites soon thereafter.  

Nancy Clemmons Moore assures the details are just right each year in memory of her parents (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

The couple tragically passed in 2008 but their tradition has been carried on by their daughter, Nancy Clemmons Moore, and other members of the community. Dutifully hauling the three bales of hay needed for each hay person, dressing one in lederhosen and hat and the other in a dirndl and braids, Moore and her helpers brought the Cullman tradition back on Monday, again assembling the community favorites and keeping her parents’ memory alive and well. 

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