Greens and Beans Bluegrass Festival a hit

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Cottonmouth Creek performs at the Greens & Beans Bluegrass Festival Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, at Depot Park. (Sara Gladney for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Downtown Merchants Association (CDMA) hosted its first Greens & Beans Bluegrass Festival at Depot Park Friday, with featured musicians Cotton Pickin’ Kids, Barefoot Nellie and Cottonmouth Creek. The park was filled with spectators.

In addition to music, the festival had plenty of activities to keep guests entertained. Food and craft vendors were on-site. The Cullman County Wranglers displayed decorated Jeeps. There were rides and bouncy houses for the kids. The German Axe Throwing Co. brought its mechanical bull. The Cullman County Cornhole Club also hosted a tournament at Festhalle.

The idea for the festival arose from CDMA Secretary Denise Key’s remembrance of her childhood family tradition, she said, “When I was younger my grandfather played bluegrass. He played the harmonica and the fiddle, and so when I was little and lived in California, we traveled around all the time going to bluegrass festivals. I knew it always had a big following.”

Key said she has wanted to bring a bluegrass festival to the area for a long time, since the music genre is already popular in Cullman.

CDMA President Judith Caples said her mission in hosting this event was to bring more people to the businesses of downtown Cullman. The CDMA is a nonprofit made up of businesses all over Cullman County that work to promote growth for small businesses.

“The whole idea for the Downtown Merchants is if we have a viable downtown, people are going to come to downtown,” said Caples.

Local favorite Cotton Pickin’ Kids is a bluegrass band made of six siblings between the ages of 11 and 19, each specializing in his or her own instrument in the band. They have each placed individually as well as with their siblings in several bluegrass competitions including placing first at the 2019 Nashville, Tennessee State Fair Bluegrass Band competition.

Barefoot Nellie, from Chattanooga, is a four-piece bluegrass band founded in 2007 by husband and wife, Eric (bass) and August (fiddle) Bruce.

Cottonmouth Creek, also a four-piece band, has its music roots in bluegrass, but includes Americana/Roots music, country music and classic rock.

For more information about the bands, go to: www.cottonpickinkids.com, https://cottonmouthcreek.com and www.barefootnellieandcompany.com.

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