Cedar Ridge: A place of new beginnings

Published 8:27 pm Saturday, April 15, 2017

In 2015, gas prices were plummeting, and though some folks were celebrating at the pump, others knew the impact could be devastating to the area. As layoffs loomed for those who worked on oil rigs, many began preparing best they could to protect themselves.

Hugh and Kaylon Watson found just the thing to allow Hugh to leave the rig behind after 19 years.

“He made the remark, ‘If you can make money being at home, then I’ll come home,’” Kaylon said. “So we built the barn.”

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In July 2015, Cedar Ridge opened, and the Watsons’ lives were changed. The event venue has proven to be the perfect match for Kaylon.

“For the most part, it’s been awesome. You’re always meeting someone new,” she said. “I’ve always been a wedding person. I love everything about weddings, and I’ve always cried at weddings.”

The barn was designed specifically for those brides who have spent their lives dreaming of their wedding, and Watson’s goal is to make sure price is not the reason that a bride doesn’t get the perfect day.

“We don’t want to make a killing. We just want to make a living,” she said. “My absolute favorite is when I see a bride and groom walk out of that barn with a smile ear to ear because they can afford the wedding they want.

Although Watson sees a myriad of opportunities ahead to keep the barn growing, their main goal was accomplished. Hugh left the rig life behind and is now driving a log truck.

“He’s home every night; that makes everything 100 percent better after 19 years of being on the road,” she said. “We’re blessed by it [Cedar Ridge].”

The barn is in the middle of a pasture — “as it should be” — on a working farm with cows and other animals around.

“We’re just country,” she said. “That’s how we want it to be.”

To expand the utilization of the barn, Cedar RIdge has taken on new activities. One outreach they have had success with was hosting a self-defense class. Although the people who taught it do not live in the area, Watson hopes she is able to find someone local who can teach a weekly class.

An ongoing activity has been Jessica Breazeale’s weekly dance class on Mondays that are open to the public. The classes cost $20 per person and are two hour classes.

They have also started organizing dances to promote families. Recently, they held mother-and-son dance, a mother-daughter dance, and a daddy-daughter dance, “Cowboys and Angels” will be held April 1. Watson is hoping to continue cultivating more of these dances. The dances cost $25 per couple and $5 for each additional child.

“It helps during our slow season,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of weddings in the winter or hot summer because we don’t have air or heat.”

But that’s a problem she hopes to rectify soon.

“Our biggest obstacle is not having the means and money to get where I want,” she said.

Last year, they reinvested their profits in the barn, a pattern they plan to repeat this year by installing a cooling and heating system.

“We’re getting there little by little,” she said.

The barn boasts a kitchen, restrooms and dressing rooms. Cedar Ridge is located at 5591 Watson Road in Wesson. For more information, find Cedar Ridge Venue, LLC on Facebook.