Dinner on First

The Warehouse District will be transformed into the longest dinner table in Cullman this Saturday night, as part of $100-per-ticket fundraiser for one of the most unique playgrounds in the state.

The Cullman City Parks and Recreation Foundation the Dinner on First event, which will feature a 300-foot table spread right down the middle of the road in the Warehouse District, in front of Rumors Deli, Karma’s Coffee House and Kernel Kullman. The street will be decorated with string lights, along with live music and hors d’oeuvres. Park officials say all 240 tickets have already been sold, and proceeds will support the construction of a “boundless” playground for children of all needs.

“We’ll be kicking off this event to fundraise for the Connected Park, a revitalization of the old Ingle Park. We’ll be adding a ‘boundless’ playground for people of all abilities, physically, mentally and emotionally,” city parks Director Nathan Anderson said. “We’ve worked with landscapers, and physical and social experts for special needs children, to design a playground that is accommodating for all. The beautiful thing about this is, we chose the name Connected Park because it connects everyone with all backgrounds in a safe place to come together and spend time.”

The parks department is looking to raise $350,000 for the project, which is more than a typical playground. Anderson noted the high cost is to meet all the necessary requirements for safety, while also ensuring the park will last at least another 20 years from construction.

“We want to build something that will last,” he said. “We also want to make sure every part of this playground is accessible and convenient for wheelchair access. So, we’ll spend quite a bit on the surfacing, and the rubber surface on the playground for potential falls.”

Anderson said the parks department co-opted the idea for Dinner on First after seeing an advertisement for a community in Nevada that had done something similar. The Foundation then felt it would be the perfect way to raise funds for the park project.

“The city in Nevada closed down a street, put up a very long set of farm tables, and served fresh farm-to-table food,” Anderson said. “They did this in the evening, had live music, string lights, and an environment that brought the indoors outside. We thought it was really neat.”

Anderson noted Rock the South has also been raising money for the project, and those efforts will be announced at the dinner. Final plans for the park will also be unveiled at the event.

Food will be catered by Birmingham-based Dyron’s Lowcountry. The Dinner on First is set for Saturday, May 14 in the Warehouse District. Anyone interested in contributing or fundraising for the Connected Park is encouraged to contact the city parks department.

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