New event venue to open
Bratten’s La Rae hosting festival Saturday
Gathering inspiration from her southern roots, Brewton native Dana Lowery Bratten will soon offer a unique event venue – the kind locals have yet to see.
“When I was growing up, we had two books in our house – the Bible and Southern Living magazine,” Bratten said.
“When Southern Living did its 50th anniversary party in that old barn, Momma said if I didn’t do it, I would be missing out, and I knew what I was meant to do with Daddy’s old barn,” Bratten said.
“Daddy” – or Rayford Lowery as he’s known to the community – had Golden Motors for 40 years, while “Momma” Lynette and Bratten operated “Serendipity” for more than a decade. Now, Bratten, a teacher in Florida, is opening the family property on Ala. Hwy. 41 just before the Florida line for public use.
“It’s family property; Dad used it and had cows,” she said. “We used to plant humongous gardens. He would work my mom and me to death. He’s retired, and his health is declining.
“For years we had the property – I can’t tell you the people that have used it for their wedding pictures, prom pictures, and I thought, ‘Well you know, why not continue to use the property?’”
Bratten decided to take the concept one step further – the solution, La Rae.
“It’s a big wonderful space, so why not share it?” she said. “The name comes from my middle name, which is a combination of my parents’ names.”
The wide open space can be utilized for any function from weddings to corporate events. Bratten said over the years, she’s collected a number of pieces such as antique sofas, tables and more to help brides especially transform the property into their wedding dream.
“With Pinterest and the internet, your imagination is the limit,” Bratten said. “This site can serve as the perfect backdrop for any event.”
The public is invited to a fall preview of the property this Saturday from 3-9 p.m. Live music featuring her cousins, Chris and Rusty Golden, will be played. Vendors will be on hand offering a wide selection of items.
While the event is free, there is a $5 parking fee.
“This is going to be a full-fledge fall festival and our way to invite people out and see the property and show what we have to offer,” Bratten said. “While we officially won’t be available to offer the space until January for rent, we’re ready to work.”