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Memories in the making

By Staff | May 9, 2014

A fairy tale site was unveiled Friday at a ribbon cutting event at Sam Michael’s Park. Jefferson County Parks and Recreation hosted the event officially opening to the public a new wedding/party venue at the site of Sam Michaels home at what is now a centrally-located park in the county.

The homesite was destroyed by fire decades ago, according to Jennifer Myers, parks director. Where the home stood, the columns from the front of the home remain.

The columns had previously been restored as part of an Eagle Scout project. Matt Harris, the scout who secured, patched and painted the columns, was on hand at Friday’s opening.

The venue, Myers said, will be open for rental for weddings from this point on. She that plans include coordinating with local rental companies and other wedding-focused businesses to offer potential renters a “wedding package.”

Friday’s event gave guests a glimpse of what the set up would look like as Jefferson Rentals worked with Myers to present a complete experience. A tent housed cloth-linen draped tables set up for a reception with a spread of delicious treats that included everything from cheese and crackers to a wedding cake. Sparkling cider was poured for a toast as the location does not currently allow alcohol consumption. Myers indicated that the Parks Board will look into the possibility of making a change to the current policy so that receptions could be a feasible use of the space as well.

County Commissioners Dale Manuel, Jane Tabb and Patsy Noland turned out for the event and had nothing but praise for the work done by the park staff to create the ideal location for a wedding.

“I had no idea this was back here,” Noland said as she commended Myers on all of the work that went into making the site ready.

Park staff worked to clean out the area for weeks prior to the public opening. Acting Park Manager Tim Lykens and his wife, Carla, spent several hours planting flowers and other plants appealing to the eye. Flower arrangements were also brought in for the ribbon cutting ceremony that lent a sense of wedding reality to the event.

The current rate for rental of the site is $350 and Myers said that the first wedding has been booked for later this summer. Potential users of the venue who “liked” the wedding venue plans on Facebook were entered into a drawing for a free event. Friday’s winner was Kala Marie Shaw, who was notified of her prize.

For more information, visit the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission on Facebook at fb.me/jeffcounty.parksnrec or call 304-728-3207.