First event at Augusta Convention Center on Sunday

A bridal expo Sunday will be the first public event held at Augusta Convention Center, even before the center officially opens its doors.

About 40 exhibitors have booked space at the Reynolds Street center, also known as the TEE Center, for the Brides & Bouquets expo, to be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, according to organizer John Kane, an advertising manager for TAC Media, the umbrella brand for The Augusta Chronicle and its portfolio publications and digital products.

The event, to include a fashion show of men’s and women’s wedding attire, precedes Thursday’s grand opening of the convention center and a business expo sponsored by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Another event scheduled before the grand opening is the center’s first convention, a gathering Tuesday and Wednesday of a group called HFW Distributors.

The complex’s opening was marred by controversy after a proposed convention, the January meeting of Georgia police chiefs, backed out because of the Augusta Commission’s inability to approve operating agreements for the center with Augusta Riverfront LLC, which runs the adjoining Marriott at the Convention Center. The firm shares management with Morris Communications, the owner of The Chronicle.

Greg DeSandy, the director of Sales and Marketing at Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center, said in a news release there are 20 events confirmed for the new space.

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