- Cullman, Alabama

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December 29, 2012

Church brings a touch of New York to celebration

DODGE CITY — The heart of New York City may be roughly 956 miles from the small portion of Cullman County that’s home to Dodge City, but for a few brief hours Monday night, the town will be turned into a scaled down version of Times Square — complete with a ball drop and all at midnight.

The event is being sponsored by Life Church, and will take place near the church’s parking lot off of Interstate 65 at exit 299.

“It’s something I knew we would do for two years,” pastor Brad Sheats said. “Since we founded the church in August of 2011, we’ve wanted to do several outreach programs in the community, and we just felt we were far enough along to do that.”

The ball, which measures 10 feet in diameter and weighs 450 pounds, is equipped with 30,000 LED lights, and is made of black iron pipe. Sheats said he,along with several others from the church, spent two months building it. The project started at Sheats’ home, and moved to a barn before being hauled on a trailer to the church for the finishing touches earlier this week.”

“It’s a relief it’s almost done,” he said.

Sheats credited a friend for giving him the idea to do such a thing.

“I have a buddy in Memphis who had one at his house,” Sheats said. “So I took the plan from him and went with it.”

In addition to the ball drop, other activities are also planned, including live music, a kid’s zone, inflatables, fireworks, a giant screen, giveaways, and free food. Sheats said festivities begin at 10 p.m. and will conclude around 12:30 a.m.

For those who can’t make it, events will be streamed live at

“We’re hoping this is something we can do year after year,” Sheats said.

Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at

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