It isn’t often that you go to a Chamber of Commerce banquet and a wedding breaks out, but that was the story at the Wine Country Inn on Saturday night. When a miscommunication left the 2016 Annual Banquet without the live entertainment that had been scheduled, Town of Palisade Assistant Treasurer and Chamber Board member Ellen Scott stepped right up, volunteering to get married!
And so it happened! Ellen and her true love, Joe Archuleta, had decided somewhere between the salad and the salmon that the timing was perfect! Many of their friends were already there, and there was even a Mayor in attendance to officiate. Mayor Roger Granat was just getting over his surprise at being named Palisade’s Citizen of the Year, when Ellen sprung the next surprise on him, asking him to perform their ceremony. Since there was no music, guests were asked to sing/hum Ellen down the ‘aisle’; and there was a loud chorus of “Dum, Dum-dee-dum” as she entered the room.
While never having performed a wedding, Mayor Granat still said all the right stuff, mainly making sure that Ellen and Joe loved each other, and with only a minor step left out, the rings! Maid of Honor Liz Winkler produced the rings, and the rest was history.
Speaking of history, the annual State of the Chamber address by outgoing Chamber Board chair John Sabal was an impressive listing of the last few years’ accomplishments, such as the completion of the Fruit & Wine Byway, the public art program, and the growth of the annual festivals, both in attendance and in number of festivals put on by the Chamber. The last few months have seen the granting of the first ‘Jump Start’ award to Tim Huff of Palisade for his Colorado Clear water bottling process, the signing of the real estate deals prior to construction of a world-class sport shooting complex to be built at Cameo, and the latest achievement, the awarding of two of the sixteen trails in the ’16 Trails in 2016′ program to trails in or around Palisade. The unfinished section of the Riverbend Trail at this end of the valley, and the proposed ‘Palisade Plunge’ that is currently under discussion were both mentioned as well as the completion of the Palisade Rim Trail a couple of years ago.
Terri Benson also spoke, giving out information on the Mesa County Enterprise Zone and it’s importance to the Town of Palisade.
Chamber Executive Director Juliann Adams then gave out the annual Chamber Awards for 2016. As previously mentioned, Mayor Roger Granat was named Palisade’s Outstanding Citizen for 2015, Bennett Price was the Chamber’s Agricultural Partner of the Year, and Mandy Budd received a plaque in recognition of her term on the board of directors. The award for Business of the Year was announced, but then Juliann challenged the guests to keep it a secret for a few days as that particular business owner was out of town for a couple more days. We’ll have to see how that goes… A special award was presented to Bill Floryancic for being the longest continuing member of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce. There’s some longevity!