CHARLES CITY — A historic venue has become a new event location in Charles City, and is now taking bookings.
Open Air at the Glebe is run by Williamsburg’s Steve Rose, and the venue is registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark and in the National Register of Historic Places.
Rose’s journey in the event world began with Williamsburg Event Rentals 25 years ago, specializing in chairs, tents, glassware and other event needs.
Rose also launched CultureFix, which has been running events in Williamsburg for five years, including the Williamsburg Christmas Market, the Winter Blues Jazz Fest, and most recently, the Brill Music & BBQ Fest
“As we have been doing events and deliveries at a lot of the plantations out in Charles City County I’ve always over the years thought it would be really cool to have a location somewhere out in Charles City County,” Rose explained.
“A lot of the plantations are owned by families and passed on through families and so it’s very difficult to get anything in that respect,” Rose added. “I was just really lucky that this location came along and that the gentlemen who owns it was wanting to lease it.”
Rose’s desire to get into hospitality started much further back, when he was still in England running his father’s business. Rose described the business as a miniature Lowe’s or garden center.
“Even way back when, when I was 16 or 17, I just loved logistics and planning, that type of thing,” Rose said. “I went on an expedition in Panama, and very soon after I came home from the three months in Panama I was asked to go out and do logistics on an expedition in Indonesia.”
It fueled a love for logistics, and a three-month expedition turned into a six-month one. At the age of 20, Rose was helping with planning and food for more than 100 people in the jungle. He met his wife during that expedition and moved to America, where he worked in construction and real estate for a few years. But he knew he wanted to start his own business, and Williamsburg Event Rentals was born.
“I’ve always wanted an event location or a small country hotel or something like that would be more of my retirement pace,” Rose said. “So when this came along it was a way for me to have an income, but also on all the days when there is not an event happening, to have a quiet and tranquil place for me to relax and enjoy my life.”
The Glebe was built in 1745 by the Westover Parish, and the building has been updated while still keeping many of its historic features intact. This includes a few panes of glass where couples who were to be married there would etch their names — as far as 1888. Whil Open Air can’t continue this tradition, each couple married there will receive a pane of glass engraved with their names and wedding date to keep the tradition alive.
The venue utilizes multiple locations on the property to accomodate various sizes of events and weddings. The inside is also set up to allow wedding parties to stay.
For more information about packages and pricing, visit its official website.