40th annual Bloomin’ Festival coming April 20-21

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The Bloomin’ Festival is a community favorite event each year, drawing thousands. (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. –  The 40th annual Bloomin’ Festival will take place April 20-21, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day on the grounds of St. Bernard Preparatory School. The event is one of the school’s main fundraisers, and draws thousands each year. Admission is a $10 donation per person.

Festival Director Joyce Nix said the Bloomin’ Festival is not only a community favorite event, but also a student and alumni favorite. Students, current and past, return to the festival each year, volunteering to help their alma mater or simply recounting the memories while they peruse the vendors and booths.

“It’s gone on so many years; the students love coming back for it, because they remember standing out in the pasture directing traffic,” laughed Nix.

Each year, when planning begins, Nix searches for ways to elevate the festival. This year, the growth of the festival has been so incredible, the two-day event has over 180 vendors lined up.

“We’ve been around for 40 years, and I’ve been around for all 40 of them,” Nix smiled. “We started in the 1983-84 school year and it’s gone from 60 vendors to around 185 now.”

The vendors are the big draw, increasing attendance and monetary support for the school. The enormous gathering is set to span the campus of St. Bernard Prep, with vendors set up in booths and tents along the way showcasing their handmade items, décor and homemade sweets and treats. Offerings are limitless, and with so many artists and makers on-site, there will be something for everyone. A raffle for a 2024 Jeep Compass will also take place at the festival, with any donation of $5 or more buying a chance to drive the vehicle home.

Nix talked about vendors and the items that will be on sale and display at the festival, sharing, “We feature all kind of good things like pottery, sunglass, jewelry soaps, even things like hummingbird feeders and teakwood furnishings. We have plants, succulents and even goat cheese.”

Attendees may notice that one thing won’t at the Bloomin’ Festival this year: food trucks, which are typically seen at street and community festivals. Nix said there is a reason for that. As the festival is one of the school’s primary fundraisers, 100% of the proceeds from the concessions and refreshments go to directly support student life and assist with tuition and fees. Concessions of hamburgers, Polish sausages, fried potato spirals, funnel cakes and strawberry waffles are all on the menu, along with the famous Monk Bread.

The Bloomin’ Festival will take place at St. Bernard Prep School Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. St. Bernard is located at 1600 St. Bernard Drive SE. Admission is a $10 donation. Special reduced admission rates will also be offered to festival attendees all weekend to visit Ave Maria Grotto.

Get more info at www.bloominfestival.com.