The annual Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Banquet has been held for over a hundred years. This year, with a Mardi Gras theme, the February 8th dinner and awards ceremony has moved to a larger space to handle the crowd. And, according to Chamber Manager Al Mitchell, the public is invited to come applaud the award winners this year. The fun will be at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds Event Center and will include a New Orleans-style dinner with dishes such as catfish, shrimp jambalaya, red beans and rice and even King Cake and Johnny Cake. Usually each year, there's only room enough for the Chamber of Commerce members and staff, but this time, Mitchell wants others in the community to come along and cheer when some of their neighbors from throughout the valley win awards. You'll definitely recognize the winners of the Community Asset, Unsung Hero, Spark Plug, and Business of the Year awards.

The evening starts at 5 p.m. with a no-host cocktail hour. Dinner, catered by Little Blue Joint, will be served at 7 p.m. The awards will be announced beginning at 8:15 p.m. by Al Mitchell, with help from Steve Fullerton of KLYQ Radio. A silent auction will have some great offerings, and there are a couple of live auction items along with a 50/50 raffle. Admission is $50 per person. Tables of eight are available, too. Reserve your place as soon as possible. Contact the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce office at (406) 363-2400 or drop by the office, just east of the Hamilton Main Street and US 93 intersection. And let the good times roll!