Shopping season

The holiday shopping season kicks off this weekend with the first of many events seeking to get shoppers into the gift giving season.

Now that the city’s Christmas lights are up and the days get shorter, Cullman’s Warehouse District is kicking off the first of many shopping binges between now and the big day, greeting guests for a three-day open house and shopping event this weekend.

From Friday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 10, Christmas in the Warehouse District will bring a street party atmosphere to historic First Avenue. Businesses will extend their hours and hold holiday-season sales, while food trucks, carriage rides, a snow machine, and (of course) Santa will all be easy to spy in the closed-off streets near the Cullman Festhalle.

The Warehouse District’s big event is just one of the holiday-season treats that’ll be buzzing around Cullman this weekend. At 6 p.m. Friday, the city’s park and recreation department will light the newly-constructed Christmas Pyramid — designed to mimic traditional Christmas pyramids in Germany — in front of the Colonel Cullman Home. Over at Depot Park, meanwhile, the 33rd annual Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas Car Show will fire up the engines beginning at 8 a.m. sharp Saturday, running until 2 p.m. to raise money for the local Christmas Love charity.

The Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce also is sponsoring a Christmas Window Display Contest through the weekend, bringing Chamber members into the Christmas season with a fun way to get in the holiday spirit — all while sharing their Yuletide-inspired ideas with local shoppers.

On Saturday, Nov. 9 and Sunday too, the Chamber will be touring its members’ storefronts to take in the sights before a panel of judges will declare a winner in the friendly competition for best window display. The rules are refreshingly laissez-faire in keeping with the spirit of the shopping season: “trees, lights, ornaments and anything else that will catch the eye,” all are fair game, the Chamber advises.

Judges from Athens and Decatur (brought in to keep things “as unbiased as possible,” according to the Chamber) will award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place prizes in four different categories: retail, service-oriented, home décor, and food & beverage. Registration for this year’s contest is already full, but if you’re interested in participating next year, the Chamber advises its members to keep an eye on their email, when notices for next year’s event go out in October and November.

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