Spring Lake Farm was the scene of the Portland Chamber of Commerce’s annual Murder Mystery & Auction. This year’s mystery was “The Greatest Mystery on Earth” featuring a circus atmosphere and used many characters from the Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth.
Kristen Daughtry, chamber events coordinator, said, “A big thank you to our amazing cast of suspects in our circus murder mystery.”
Rita Taylor continues to be creative in writing the four mysteries used by the chamber.
The play began with the audience and cast learning that the owner of the circus had been murdered. Each table of guests analyzed the clues presented during the play to figure out how and why the owner was murdered. During the presentation, the clown was also murdered.
Guests had to put the clues together to decide why both the owner and clown were murdered.
Local attorney Clark Shifflett served as ringmaster. Other characters were trapeze artist - Kim Rice, snake charmer - Deidre Parsons, lion tamer - Megann Thompson, bearded lady - Chad Wilson, strong man - Adam Wims, clown - Tim Baker, mime - Nathan Shadowens, and wife of the owner - Kelly Stephenson. The strong man was discovered to be the murderer.
Fortune Teller - Jaska Russell and Stilt Walker - Bob Moon entertained the attendees during the evening. The Highland Academy Gymnastic Team added excitement to the circus theme. Larry Gregory helped with the sound system and Dobbs Family Photography was the official photographer of the evening.
Awards were presented to Brian Harbin for Best Dressed Attendee, Strong Man Adam Wims for Best Dressed Actor and Chad Wilson was awarded the Best Actor Award.
After the mystery was introduced, the dinner was served. Local restaurants catered the meal with attendees having the opportunity to get a taste of each. Caterers featured were 5 Chefs, Big Al’s Hometown Catering, Brewster’s Bar & Grille, El Azteca Mexican Restaurant, Southern Occasions Event Center, The Barbecue Pit, and Top of the Ridge Catering.
Sixteen businesses sponsored the centerpieces and auction items. The event was sponsored by Rep. William Lamberth, Hatch Stamping, Spring Lake Farms, Wally Gilliam Realty & Auction and Dobbs Family Photography. Premier partners were Old Hickory Credit Union, Dorman, TriStar Portland, Shoals Technologies Group, The Farmers Bank, Novatech, Volunteer State Bank, PUCC (Portland Utilities Construction Co., LLC), and Exit Realty Garden Gate Team.