NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Briar Brook Barns first opened its doors in July 2021 as a space where vendors could sell their products. However, a year prior to opening, the barn was sitting empty and decaying; the Mitcheltree family was on the verge of tearing it all down.
“We had a family discussion in December 2020, and the barn needed repaired or it was possibly going to be torn down,” Marlene Mitcheltree, co-owner of Briar Brook Barns said. “I didn’t want to have it torn down. So my husband, daughter and I decided to do this business.”
With fall in full swing, Briar Brook Barn is now hosting its third annual Autumn Splendor on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15 to celebrate all things fall and art. With over 40 different vendors signed on to be present, the event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature live music.
Marlene’s mother-in-law, Shirley Mitcheltree, owns Briar Brook Barn, while her husband, Scott, and daughter, Amanda, co-run the business with her.
When Briar Brook Barn first opened, it started with 14 to 15 vendors. Less than a year later in April 2022, they expanded the barn and reached 23 vendors.
Despite the quick expansion, Mitcheltree still wanted to offer an outlet for more vendors to sell their products. As a result, the Autumn Splendor was born.
“We wanted to offer to have more vendors here at the place, (but) due to our size, we couldn’t have more inside. So we offered tents outside,” Mitcheltree said.
The Autumn Splendor will feature live music, with two different sets of artists performing on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15 between 1-3 p.m.
Performing on Oct. 14 will be Jeff Corle, a former dairy farmer from Windber, Pennsylvania, now turned Nashville singer-songwriter.
Corle is known for his song “Empty Barn” which he wrote after having to sell his dairy cows due to inflation and rising costs in March 2022. The song talks about the pain and heartbreak he felt having to leave his cows behind.
Mitcheltree says Corle will be a great addition this year as “Empty Barn” resonates with Briar Brook Barns’s own story.
“We thought he would be a good fit because we had an empty barn, and he could come and sing his music (in it),” Mitcheltree said.
Singer-songwriter duo Lori and Tom Stanley Synder will also be making a comeback at this year’s Autumn Splendor.
Hailing from Grove City, Pennsylvania, Lori and Tom have been playing music since the 70s.
Among the new vendors, chocolate company Simply Sweets Chocolates will sell an assortment of chocolate-caramel-covered apples topped with everything from peanuts to pretzels. Other new vendors are Lady Goats Farm Soap Works, specializing in goat milk lotion, soap and bath bombs, and Star Dog Creations, selling prints and 3-D art.
Popular returning vendors include Uncle Spooky’s Olde Spoons, jewelry made out of vintage spoons; Henry’s Rustic Wood Crafts and Creekside Cellars Winery.
Alongside the opportunity to buy art and goodies, guests will also be able to participate in hands-on activities such as making their own pottery.
Briar Brook Barn is located at 330 Eastbrook Neshannock Falls Road, New Castle, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit Briar Brook Barn on Facebook at facebook.com/briarbrookbarn.
(Reporter Liz Partsch can be reached at email@example.com or 330-337-3419.)
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