BY BENJAMIN MCLEISH, Alachua Chronicle contributor
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Two hundred and fifty people attended the grand opening on Sunday of The Barn at Deep Creek, a brand-new venue located at 4000 NE 156th Avenue that will host weddings, corporate parties, and charity events.
One of the main goals of the event was to establish a community for all of the vendors, said Alex Cromwell, the owner and lead coordinator of ANC Coordinations. Cromwell hopes that her company can work with the venue and the vendors for future events. Cromwell launched ANC in January and specializes in organizing weddings.
Over 40 local vendors appeared at the event to advertise their products and services. The vendors set up booths with information and hands-on demonstrations of their products. Some of the services highlighted by the vendors were live music, videography, bartending, live painting, and bounce houses. The vendors wanted to connect with the guests and show them what they can add to their upcoming weddings and events.
Like many of the participating vendors, DJ Dave Awesome aims to give people an unforgettable experience through his work. He has been a DJ for over 15 years and performs at many kinds of events. He set up a booth at the event to showcase his music.
My job is to “get grandma doing the Soulja Boy,” DJ Awesome said. He added that good music is vital for a memorable event.
The event, which began at 10 a.m. and lasted through 4 p.m., included a food truck with donuts and coffee, and free food inside the barn. The venue’s staff gave property tours to guests that were interested in reserving the venue for future events, and local country music artist Clay Brooker performed outside the barn from 1 to 2 p.m.
Benjamin Burnsed, the general manager of the venue, said his family began building the barn in May 2020 in a space that was previously used to store cattle and hay.
Burnsed’s sister Kristen Jacobs books events and handles the social media pages for the venue. Burnsed and Jacobs, along with many other family members, were at the event, giving tours and explaining the price packages to interested guests.
Nearly 40 Burnsed family members live on the 1,600-acre property, Burnsed said. The family owns a sheet metal company that has been in business for over 50 years; they built the entire barn themselves and only hired an outside company for the plumbing, he added.
The venue is much more than just the building, Burnsed said. The pasture setting means that wildlife often roams in the distance. Foxes, owls, and turkeys can usually be seen in the pasture. Being so close to nature makes for a memorable experience, he added. In addition to the barn, the venue includes a shaded pavilion, a handmade firepit, and a large oak tree in the pasture.
Burnsed said that he plans to work with ANC and many of the vendors on future events. He added that he’s known Cromwell for a long time and she always does a great job.
Guests can choose between multiple packages for their future events. A basic rental includes access to the venue, but there are other options that include additional features. There is an option for an all-inclusive package that organizes the entire event for the guest, Burnsed said.
One of the first large events at the venue will be a Christmas party for the University of Florida Horticulture department, Burnsed said.
Burnsed said he plans to host charity events and youth Christian events at the venue in the future. He said that they are currently talking with the Family Christian Association of America about setting up an event in 2023. “It is very important for our family to give back to the community,” Burnsed said.
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