Dinner on First

Keith and Lynda Carter shared a quiet, shaded moment in the middle of First Avenue Friday, before the music (and the heat) died down and this year’s Dinner on First event ramped up. As in years past, the Cullman Parks and Recreation fundraiser sold out of the event’s $150 per-plate tickets, with proceeds helping this year to fund improvements at Cullman’s Art Park.

“Dinner on First” is back on the menu of events taking place in Cullman. After a year’s hiatus due to the coronavirus, the Cullman City Council Monday approved the return of the event on May 21. 

A rustically picturesque street party and catered meal in Cullman’s Warehouse District, Dinner on First, has gathered hundreds of local residents and out-of-town visitors over the past five years to raise thousands of dollars for Cullman Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism.

This will be the first time the event has been held since the First Street streetscape project began in January, 2020.

“I’m so excited for that,” said Kristy Turner, recreational development director for Cullman’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department. “We’re looking forward to that after a year hiatus.”

May 22 is the rain date in the case of the event being rained out on the 21st.

Cullman is also welcoming back two other events: the Strawberry Festival on Saturday and A, AA and AAA track meet at Cullman High School Friday and Saturday.

City clerk Wes Moore said they expect about 6,000 visitors for the track meet. “It’s a good time to showcase Cullman High School and the facilities they have,” he said.

Moore said hotels are reporting that they have sold out of rooms. 

Mayor Woody Jacobs said First Street will be open for the Strawberry Festival, even though there is still work to do on a portion of the street. “The goal is to have the base coat of the asphalt complete by Strawberry Festival,” he said.

He said it’s taken three tries to get the company responsible for the string lights to send the correct bulbs. “They’re correct this time, they’re up,” he said.

Jacobs also thanked everyone for their work on ensuring a complete count for the 2020 Census. On Monday, the Census Bureau said Alabama would not lose any congressional seats.

“When they started the census, the estimates were projecting us to lose two congressional seats,” said Moore. “But Alabama held on and we did not lose any seats.”

“That was our number one goal, not to lose a congressional seat,” said Jacobs. He said they are expecting Cullman’s population number to have increased as well once the Census Bureau releases that data.

Councilman Johnny Cook reported that Cullman’s public works picked up 10 percent more trash in the recent spring cleanup. He said crews removed 229 tons of trash left out by residents, and did so while spending nearly $11,000 less than last year’s spring cleanup day.

He also reported that the demand for the smaller trash cans, what the city calls “granny cans,” has been greater than anticipated, but new cans are arriving to meet the demand.

In other business, the council:

Approved a special event request from Katherine Sharpe of First United Methodist Sonshine Preschool 5k and 1 mile fun run in memory of Susan Waters. The event will take place on Oct. 16 beginning at 8 a.m.Approved a resolution to enter into agreement with NEOGOV for Human Resources software for recruiting and on-boarding new employees;

Adopted the Municipal Water Pollution Prevention resolution.

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

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