Twenty-five years after it was first dedicated and two years after it was heavily damaged in a hail storm, Heritage Park was rededicated Thursday. The city celebrated with hotdogs and shaved ice from the concession stand and a flag retirement ceremony by the Cullman Police Department Color Guard.
Heritage Park, a busy showpiece of the city’s recreation facilities, suffered extensive damage to dugouts, pavilions and the playing fields in the March 19, 2018 hail storm. At Thursday’s ceremony, Mayor Woody Jacobs said, “The soccer fields were so damaged from the huge hail storm, that I think we’re getting $300,000 back from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). I know that’s hard to believe; I couldn’t believe it.”
He praised the vision of the Cullman Parks and Recreation staff, who visited other cities to get ideas for redeveloping the park after the storm. “It’s a fan experience to be able to sit here and watch the ballgames now,” he said. “I’m just really proud of it.”
Some of the changes include a new tower and new lights. The park is hosting its first tournament this weekend since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Heritage Park will also be the site of this year’s Fourth of July fireworks. Desperation Church, which typically puts on the Fourth of July fireworks show, decided not to this year, so the mayor and council decided the city would sponsor the event.
“It’s going to be the biggest one we’ve ever put on here, actually,” said Jacobs. He said they had originally planned to allow people to get out of their cars and watch the show from the soccer fields, but are now waiting to make that decision based on the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Cullman County.
“We’ll decide that later, but for sure we’re going to have a drive-in fireworks show,” he said.
Over the last 14 days, another 114 cases of the disease were confirmed in Cullman County. Since the pandemic began, Cullman County has had nearly 300 confirmed cases of COVID-19.