CULLMAN, Ala. – After a year-long wait, Cullman residents (and visitors!) can now find themselves enveloped in a vibrant kaleidoscope of technicolor lights, surrounded by the scents of classic carnival food like funnel cakes and chicken on a stick and brave the odds in games of chance as the gates are officially open to the 2023 Cullman County Fair.
Thursday’s opening ceremony was brief and intimate, starting with a raising of the flag performed by members of Cullman Area Technology Academy’s JROTC, while previous Cullman County Fair Queen contestant Lexi Sartin belted out the national anthem. Once Cullman County Commission Chairman Jeff Clemons snipped the grand opening ribbon, the gates swung open, and the fair was underway.
Cullman County Fair Association President Charlie Childers said this year’s fair is rising above the rest, particularly in a sometimes forgotten category: exhibits.
“We’ve had a great year in exhibits, the most we’ve had in quite some time,” he said. “That’s kind of been a dying art, so it’s been great to see an increase in that.”
While some drizzle was in the forecast, the fair started strong and organizers are looking forward to sunny weather ahead. Said Childers, “It’s been a really sweet start, and we’re expecting great weather for the next week.”
Childers also mentioned that the fair is certainly not a one-man show, touching on the invaluable support from area residents, and in particular the Cullman Lions Club, which has been hosting the fair for years.
“Cullman City and Cullman County work really well with us every year, and of course the Lions Club helps, and the proceeds go back to our community!” he exclaimed.
Chris Brooks, president of the Cullman Lions Club, said that while of course the proceeds benefiting the community are invaluable, maybe even more important is delivering that feeling of entertainment and excitement to kids in the community.
“It is an honor and pleasure to be here at the fair,” Brooks smiled. “I can’t wait for the kids to come in and see their faces light up in awe, some that may be coming here for the first time, even!”
Brooks also said preparation for the fair itself is no small feat for the Lions Club, sharing that it is months in the making. Hundreds of volunteers from all across the city and county have teamed up to deliver an experience that is both nostalgic and one-of-a-kind.
“It’s been months, probably three months in the background, and that last month is always getting really geared up. The last week has been wide open!” laughed Brooks.
The Cullman County Fair is going on now until Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, at the Cullman County Fairgrounds. For a full list of opening times, rides and event schedules, visit www.cullmanfair.org.
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