By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times
The downtown streets of Cullman were lined with hundreds of area residents who came out Friday for the shopping, food and activities of Celebrate Cullman.
The third annual event was organized by the Downtown Local Merchants Association. The first event was created just months after a tornado destroyed businesses downtown and many homes in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Owner of local business ‘Three Pears,’ Carrie Taylor said she was blessed as her family’s eight-year business was not damaged from the storm.
“After it happened (tornado destruction), our community came together and we had so much support for one another,” Taylor said. “This event started after the tragedy happened and it’s been a great event for Cullman. People are able to come out and enjoying shopping a little later than usual, have a meal, and put money back into the community.”
For 23-year-old Fairview High graduate Jessica Clayton, this was her third year to join in the celebration.
“I’ve been here all three years and worked during two of the year’s events,” Clayton said, “The last two years after I got off work, I would mingle, shop, and enjoy the food here. I think this event will be the best one though because they have a lot more going on. Moe’s Barbecue recently opened and I think it’s attracting more people to the downtown area. If you’re wanting to shop, I’d recommend Monogram’s Plus, Three Pears, What a Girl Wants and Poor Little Rich Girl, which are all downtown.”
Many children enjoyed the games that were set up for play, much like 7-year-old Haley Tyree, who is a student at Welti Elementary, and 5-year-old Kole Davis.
“I like playing on the bouncy machine,” Tyree said.
“I liked riding the bull,” Davis said. “I had fun.”
Cullman City Police Sgt. Marsha Norris said she worked security for the downtown children’s area in the 2012 Celebrate Cullman event without incident and expected nothing less for this year’s event.
“Patrol will be handling other areas and if something big happens they can call us,” Norris said. “I’ll be focusing on the children’s section again this year. It’s been great so far, everyone seems to be having a good time.”
The event included bands playing music in many local restaurants, free games and activities, and much more.
Lauren Estes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.