Brewmaster Matthew Schumacher

Brewmaster Matthew Schumacher taps the keg during Oktoberfest opening ceremonies during the 2020 event at Depot Park.

Runners, walkers and festival go-ers will have their choice of events in coming months, after the Cullman City Council on Monday approved a slew of special event permits.

The biggies, of course, are Oktoberfest, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, and the Cullman County Fair Parade on Oct. 2. The parade will go from 7th St. SW to Arnold St. NW from 1-3 p.m.

Oktoberfest will kick off with opening ceremonies in the evening of Thursday, Sept. 30, have a half-day of events on Friday, Oct. 1 and go all day Saturday, Oct. 2.

But there are several other events happening as well, beginning this Friday in the Warehouse District when merchants will have a two-day Street Sale from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. 

And, for runners or walkers, the city approved the annual Oktoberfest 5k and 10k runs starting at Festhalle at 8 a.m. on Oct. 2; a 5K, 1K and Fun Run Fundraiser for Genesis Performing Arts on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.; a Hot Chocolate 5k and 1k fundraiser for East Side Baptist Church on Saturday, Nov. 13 from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.; and a 5k run to benefit Cullman Christian School on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 7-10 a.m.

“If somebody runs in all of these, they’re going to be in really good shape,” said Council President Jenny Folsom.

The council also approved a special event permit from Shane Bailey for a block party at 706 1st Ave. SE on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 6-10 p.m. and a request from Cullman Caring for Kids for the 35th annual Ho Ho Ho Christmas Car Show at Depot Park on Saturday, Nov. 13 from 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. A request from Carolyn Taylor to use Festhalle and the adjoining street for a wedding on Sunday, Nov. 28 was also approved.

During public comments, the council also heard from Rhonda Byrd, who had previously addressed the council about bathrooms at Heritage Park being locked on the weekends and said it continues to be a problem.

Mayor Woody Jacobs said the city has had problems with vandalism that has cost the city “thousands of dollars” to repair. Folsom said they tried to leave the bathrooms open, but a female city employee had an encounter with a man who apparently spent the night in the restroom.

“I saw the video footage and it scared me,” she said. “She went in and he was stumbling about. She could have been hurt, injured. It’s very difficult to leave them open without a policeman there 24/7.”

Officials said they are trying to find a solution. “We’re not anti-folks using the restroom,” said Councilman Clint Hollingsworth. “We’re having to balance your schedule and your situation with our employees having to walk into a situation that’s very scary. We’ve got to find a middle ground.”

Amy Henderson can be reached at 256-734-2131 Ext. 216.

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