MIFFLINBURG — A wedding for the groundskeeper’s daughter inspired property owners to open their farm as a new events venue.

The Rusty Rail Brewing Company has created Black Walnut Farm, an outdoor venue that will host weddings and other gatherings. It is located on Dietrich Road, just three miles from the brewery/restaurant.

“We always loved the farm,” said Roxanne Kopelcheck, event director at the Rusty Rail, mentioning its willow trees and a pond with a bridge that crosses to an island. “We used it for photo ops for couples. You may be surprised how many people like to get those outdoor photos.”

But when the daughter of groundskeeper Peter Gardner hosted her wedding there, Rusty Rail owners realized the picturesque setting would appeal to others looking for a unique, rural wedding site.

“It’s an absolutely beautiful property,” said Jacqui Barone, wedding planner at the Rusty Rail. “With the trees and the pond and the rolling hills, it’s just gorgeous.”

Noting that the crisply painted red and white barn is not “user-friendly,” Kopelcheck said Rusty Rail owners opted for erecting a sturdy white tent that can withstand bad weather. The venue will be open from June through the second weekend in October, with ceiling fans to create a cooling breeze on warmer days.

Inside, sturdy wooden tables and copper chairs lend an elegant, rustic atmosphere that welcomes the clean, country air.

“When COVID hit, we kept getting inquiries about an outdoor space,” Kopelcheck said. “People are thinking, ‘It may be safe, but I want the ceremony outside.’”

Both the ceremony and the reception can take place at the farm, surrounded by fields of corn and other crops that give it a secluded feeling.

“Even though it’s not far from the Rusty Rail, you feel like it’s a space all your own,” Barone said.

At this time, Black Walnut Farm can host groups of 120 or fewer individuals. For dining options, clients can choose from a list of recommended caterers. So far, one wedding and a small gala have been booked there.

In spite of pandemic restrictions, the Rusty Rail has worked to increase its wedding options and is adding 11 more suites to its lodging space.

“We’ve taken the opportunity of this COVID mayhem to create a destination here at the Rusty Rail for wedding guests or just for dining guests,” Kopelcheck said. “We’re going forward instead of laying people off. We’re creating more experiences for our couples, indoors and outdoors.”

For more information, call the Rusty Rail at 570-966-6470.

Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to her at CindyOHerman@gmail.com

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