On a gray November day, landscapers worked at the Bearwood Event Barn which will open in 2019. The Barn is located just east of the turnoff to Zollman Zoo at Oxbow Park. Owners Katie and Chad Andrist plan to host weddings, community celebrations, live entertainment, fundraisers, pancake breakfasts and other family-oriented activities. Photo by Gretta Becay
By Gretta Becay
When Katie and Chad Andrist decided to convert a big red barn on their property into an event center, they had no idea how long it would take. Like many people in the region that are trying to get projects built, the Andrists ran into the multiple permitting requirements and prep work needed before construction could begin.
Now, however, the couple and their two children, three-year-old Everett and five-year-old Ava can really see the building emerging.
The facility is located at 5901 County Road 105 NW, Byron just east of the turnoff to Zollman Zoo in Oxbow Park.
The building began its life as a big red barn built by none other than Raymond Ramthun, explained Chad. The Ramthun family built many structures in the area that are still in use today including the former Bill's Foods in downtown Byron and the Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester.
The Andrists' dream of building an event center for weddings, family-focused community events and other occasions is closer to becoming a reality. In fact, they have several weddings booked for next summer and fall.
They plan to have different events in the facility such as live entertainers, fundraisers, pancake breakfasts and activities such as 5K runs. They've discussed possibly hosting a lumberjack show.
The property includes about 44 acres so there's plenty of room for outdoor events. The center will be open year-round.
Chad explained that food and drinks for events in the facility will be provided by Catering by Design of Rochester.
The facility will seat 300 people with the round-table set up.
There is a large loft space and a stairway down which a bride could descend and show off her finery.
The Andrists' hired a landscape architect so the venue will be pleasing in all aspects for revelers who come to Bearwood Event Barn opening in 2019.