MT. VERNON — A new business in Mt. Vernon offers a variety of family entertainment.
Randy’s Family Center, located on Illinois Highway 37 South across from Bethel Cemetery,
Open now for about six months, owner-operator Randy Ratliff says interest is growing for events happening about every day of the week.
Ratliff purchased the building about a year ago from the Cecil “Si” Goldman estate. After completely gutting the inside and installing a new roof without any outside financial assistance, Ratliff is offering the facility for community use.
“I’ve got a good, clean place for people to hold events or meetings,” Ratliff said, adding the facility is non-alcoholic. Refreshments are provided for a small fee.
Generally, Ratliff rents out the facility for about $50 per hour for wedding receptions, private parties, benefits and school and family reunions.
However, he has scheduled events throughout the week, charging a general admission of $5.
On the first and third Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., karaoke is offered; and on the second and fourth Tuesdays, in the same time frame, Steve and Cathy Kesler of Herrin lead singing, including karaoke.
Flea markets and craft items are featured every Friday afternoon and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ratliff indicated though he is not in competition with the city’s Market Days.
“I don’t want to compete with them. We’re working together,” he said. “When they have their Market Days, I hand out fliers for them and they hand out my fliers at Market Days. There’s no use in working against each other,” he said.
A farmer’s market is held every Monday from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. through October. Line dance instruction is also held on Monday night and instructors are being sought for possible salsa, swing dance and fox trot lessons.