April of 2011 will long be remembered for the path of destruction from tornadoes that ripped through the south. It was the 2011 Super Outbreak that hit 216 towns, killed 348 people of which 248 lived in Alabama. In Cullman the EF4 tornado of April 27, 2011 destroyed or damaged 867 residences, 94 businesses and took the lives of 6 people. You can see the extensive damage by Googling Cullman Tornado 2011.
We came here to visit our son and family shortly after the tornado. We saw the damage in town and along highway 278 that was in the path of the tornado. There are still empty lots with steps leading up to where houses once stood. Almost eerie.
One year after the tornado, the town held a celebration of recovery. It was to be a one time event. However, the celebration has expanded to the point that it has outgrown the original 15 acre site in town.
We travel back roads when we head to the south end of town. Starting last week we noticed a large plot of ground was having roads laid on it. Our first thought was a housing development. Each time we went by we became more curious. It no longer looked like houses were going there. A few days ago we saw this.
Rows and rows of Porta potties. Yes, there were lots of workers in the area, but this many?
We also noticed a couple of semi's parked a few miles away that looked to be carrying scaffolding. We found out they were to construct a stage.
Yesterday we saw large generators sitting in the field. And electrical work being done. What is going on?????
Well this morning my friend Stephanie was on Facebook talking about how fast the work is progressing up the road. I asked her what was going on. OKAY.... now it makes sense. Welcome to ROCK THE SOUTH.
The 15 acres no longer can accommodate the crowd so starting this year it moves to this 140 acre field.
We went by the site this morning when taking our Biscuit to the vet for a much needed bath.
They are expecting over 65,000 people to the event next weekend. (We will be in NJ). The headliners this year are Kid Rock, Brooks and Dunn and Florida Georgia Line. Plus loads of other less well known names. In past years they had Hank Williams Jr (who used to live in Cullman) and Alan Jackson to name only two.
As of last year the event has raised over $640,000 for local charities. Want to go? Can you afford it?
Parking $50. For two days of shows: General admission $109.00 . Seating $159.00. VIP $339. (Gets you closer to the stage). Ultimate VIP $629, (private entrance, cocktail server, priority parking)
Want to bring own accommodations? RV parking $650. Tent camping ..... sorry sold out.
Or how about Glamping for 2 people. $1,700. (beds, linens, private tent with electric)
Next year if you want to go but want cheaper accommodations, let's talk. Hey, we could use the cash.
Until next time.