It’s been 70 years since the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce first opened to promote tourism and business growth in Cullman County. To celebrate the milestone, officials are planning a gala event that will include a retrospective documentary looking back at how the organization has grown and affected the area.

The Chamber’s 70th Annual Meeting and Gala is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 21 in the Atrium at Greenleaf.

In addition to unveiling the organization’s two major civic awards, the event will also feature a silent auction of classic area photos, a brief documentary with interviews from past presidents and live music.

“What we’re doing this year is making it a focus on the past, looking at where we’ve been, where we are now and where we’re going,” Chamber president Leah Bolin said. “Seventy years is a long time to be a main stay in our community, so we’re wanting to focus on celebrating those 70 years and do that in many different ways.”

The documentary is a new addition to the festivities, and will look at the past century from the view of the Chamber and its former leaders. Even former president Chester Freeman, a parks advocate who passed away last week, was interviewed for the video just a few days before his death. Organizers plan to dedicate the retrospective in his honor.

“We’ll be showcasing the past 70 years of Cullman through the eyes of the Chamber,” Bolin said. “We have some special commemorative things we’ll be doing, a silent auction of old pictures of Cullman and music by Wallace State. We’ll also get to hear the focus for the year from our incoming chair Melissa Cartee.”

The Chamber is expecting approximately 600 people to attend, though a handful of tickets and tables are still available. Anyone interested in purchasing a ticket should contact the Chamber at (256) 734-0454.

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.

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