0917 mitchell house3.jpg (copy)

File / The Outlook

The Lake Martin Wedding Expo will be held at Mitchell House this Sunday.

Lake Martin Area United Way's wedding and events expo fundraiser is going ahead despite the pandemic.

The second annual Lake Martin Wedding and Event Expo, held at the Mitchell House events venue in Dadeville, will take place on Feb. 21 from 1 to 3 p.m.

"If somebody's planning a wedding or graduation party of big birthday party, our hope is to let people know what's available locally and promote our local retailers," Lake Martin Area United Way marketing director Courtney Layfield said.

Layfield said they're still looking for wedding- or events-related vendors, such as DJs, hair and makeup artists or catering and bar services.

Vendor fees, which are $75, as well as the $10 general ticket fee will benefit the local United Way and its 2021 campaign. Mitchell House owner Vivian Autry donated use of her space, the supposed site where secessionist politician William Lowndes Yancey spoke to a crowd from the balcony.

This year's expo is likely to look different from last year's. While Alabama's "Safer at Home" order has no attendance limit on gatherings, the events industry has still taken a hit.

"I know they have been affected for sure," Layfield said. "We do have a few vendors that had attended last year that are not attending this year because of COVID. However, we do have a lot of them coming back that attended last year and they're excited about it."

Layfield said United Way "batted it around" before deciding to proceed with the event, albeit with extra precautions including mandatory masks, social distancing and an extra tent if necessary.

"Our committee decided to go ahead and the board gave us the blessing," Layfield said. "We want to keep the safety and wellbeing of our attendees first and foremost."

Last year, 125-150 people attended the event.

"As far as attendees, we've gotten some good buzz on social media and people talking about it," Layfield said. "We're hoping if we can get 100 people there (this year), we'll be really happy."

Lake Martin Area United Way hopes the expo can become an annual fundraiser that the area can come to anticipate each year.

"As far as we know, there hasn't been any other expo like this in the Lake Martin area," Layfield said. "This is our way to help our local economy and to promote Lake Martin."