Strawberry Festival Saturday

Strawberry Festival Saturday

With a sunny weekend forecast and the announcement of a legendary band, the Strawberry Festival is expected to draw an enormous crowd on Saturday.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, known for such hits as Mr. Bojangles and Fishing In the Dark, will take the stage at Arnold Street to highlight the evening. With interest continuing to rise locally and afar, and the prediction of clear weather, Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Director Nathan Anderson is expected the 80th Strawberry Festival to pack the downtown.

At the Cullman City Council meeting Monday, Anderson said reports of large crowds in the early years of the festival may be seen again with the activities that are planned.

“We’ve read about 20,000 and 30,000 in the early years, and we were at 15,000 last year,” Anderson said. “With the response we’re seeing to this year’s plan we potentially could see the largest crowd ever in the modern era of the festival.”

Just two days after the Strawberry Festival, Parks & Recreation will be setting up for the first Major League Bass Fishing Tournament in Cullman. The Festhalle will be gathering place for activities outside the fishing, with the event running April 28 through May 5.

While the anglers and their families are in the area, the 2019 AHSAA State Track Meet will return to Cullman High School, May 2-4.

Dinner on First, a major fundraiser for park renovation projects, is set May 17 on First Avenue in the Warehouse District, followed by Pentastar South Car Club’s annual show at Depot Park to benefit Secret Meals for Hungry Children, and finally 2nd Fridays, June through September, an effort of Parks & Recreation, the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Merchants Association.

“We have a lot of people from the region expected to be in Cullman during these events,” Anderson said. “We’re excited by these events and what this means for our community and businesses.”

By David Palmer