Celebrate Cullman, 2nd Fridays pack downtown

Sure, the streets may have been closed to traffic, but at this month’s 2nd Fridays, that didn’t stop the kids from finding wheels for their seven-block tour of Cullman’s historic downtown. Held this month in conjunction with Celebrate Cullman, a companion festival that extended the party even further south, there was something to do for every boy, girl, and even pet — no matter their age.

Friday’s joint street festival that split the difference between U.S. Highway 278’s north and south sides in downtown Cullman may have been the best-attended event so far this year in the monthly 2nd Fridays series.

The Cullman Parks and Rec and Chamber of Commerce-hosted event, which is turning the corner toward next month’s fourth and final 2nd Fridays of the year, got double billing this month with the Cullman Downtown Merchants Association’s “Celebrate Cullman” festival, which picked up the party on Highway 278’s south side, and extended it all the way to the Busy Bee Cafe.

While the south end of the First Avenue downtown district already has been a de facto part of the monthly festival, the DMA rolled out an oversized line-up of activities and attractions for Celebrate Cullman, which highlights businesses in the area who stay open late to welcome the massive influx of foot traffic of the closed-off streets.

While the entire seven blocks’ worth of 2nd Fridays is always family-friendly, Celebrate especially catered to the kids this month, with slides, amusement rides, tons of games, sidewalk art, a train ride, and much more. And the entire area, on both sides of the highway, was a dog-watcher’s paradise, with perhaps more pups — at least going by the eye test — leading their owners through the streets than ever before.

In addition to being free to attend and closing off the streets so pedestrians can stroll the entertainment district with a drink in hand, what’s always helped draw people out for 2nd Fridays is the event’s focus on classic and antique cars, which — along with motorcycles and unique, just plain hard-to-describe custom contraptions — again lined block after block of curbside, making scenic eye candy against the historic district’s picturesque storefronts.

September’s 2nd Fridays event will be the year’s last, before the First Avenue area gives itself over to Oktoberfest and the fall’s upcoming slate of holiday-themed festivals. That means if you’ve not made it out yet, you’ve got one chance left before the party hits pause until next year. Next month’s event will be held rain or shine on Sept. 13.

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