CULLMAN, Ala. – The City of Cullman and the State of Alabama today announced the Cullman Strawberry Festival as the Alabama Strawberry Festival. The resolution recognizes the historical significance, agricultural excellence and vibrant community spirit that this beloved event represents for the state of Alabama.
“I am thrilled to witness the elevation of the Cullman County Strawberry Festival to the prestigious status of the Alabama Strawberry Festival, as this recognition solidifies Cullman’s position as a stronghold of agricultural excellence,” said Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman.
The story of strawberries in Cullman dates to the founding of the city in 1873. Settlers recognized the fertile soil as an ideal environment for growing strawberries, and it quickly became one of the primary crops in the area. By 1897, The Cullman Tribune reported that strawberries were more profitable than cotton, and by the 1940s the strawberry fields spread across approximately 22,000 acres, further establishing the region’s reputation as a leading producer of this delicate fruit in Alabama.
“This declaration is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our residents, farmers and volunteers who have nurtured the strawberry legacy in Cullman for generations,” said Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs.
The first Cullman Strawberry Jubilee took place in May 1905, followed by the inaugural Strawberry Festival on May 13, 1939. This remarkable celebration became a time-honored tradition that embodied the rich heritage and vibrant culture of Cullman.
Notably, the seventh festival held on May 1, 1947, welcomed beloved Alabama Governor, and area native, “Big Jim” Folsom. He took the stage and captivated the crowd with his heartfelt address, reminiscing about his past as a proud member of the Strawberry Pickers band.
Today, the Cullman Strawberry Festival has blossomed into a prominent regional affair. Drawing over 25,000 attendees from 20 states in a single day, the festival has become a lively event for all ages. Blending the festival’s rich agricultural and local history with art and entertainment, this cherished tradition now serves as a unifying force, attracting people to experience Alabama in a joyful celebration.
“Going forward, we will continue to build on the strong traditions that have made this event great, as we endeavor to grow the focus on arts within the festival,” stated Nathan Anderson, executive director of Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism. “We welcome everyone to join us on this exciting occasion as we continue to promote and share the unparalleled sweetness and charm of Alabama’s beloved strawberries.”