Monmouth, Independence set to celebrate Friday

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — It’s time for the communities in Monmouth and Independence to celebrate the businesses and citizens who make the cities great. The annual Monmouth-Independence Awards Banquet starts at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Eola Hills Wine Cellars.

And the business nominees are

Professional services: Indy Commons, Minet, Young Realty Group

Nonprofit/organization: Mon-Indy Food Project, Western Oregon University, city of Independence

Financial services: Maps Credit Union, Oregon State Credit Union, Umpqua Bank

Food and Beverage services: Burgerville, San Antonio’s, Brew Coffee & Tap House

Retail services: Les Schwab, Roth’s Fresh Market, Independence Cinema

Personal service provider: Curves, Monmouth Fitness Club, Ash Creek Animal Clinic

Chamber director Vikkye Fetters said the event will have a 1920s and ’30s theme, following other recent events of similar themes — the Independence Downtown Association’s murder mystery dinner in fall and the Monmouth-Independence YMCA’s annual Christmas Auction in December.

“People are having a lot of fun getting into it,” Fetters said.

The annual balloon raffle will return to the event. Participants pay $10 for a balloon. At a certain time in the evening, everyone will pop their balloon and collect a prize with the corresponding number inside the balloon.

The wine spin will return as well, but this year it’s half price.

“It’s a spin the bottle, Wheel of Fortune kind of game,” Fetters said.

Bottles of wine are wrapped, so it’s a surprise what you will win for $10.

Nominees have been announced, but the winners won’t be revealed until the banquet, Fetters said.

Businesses were selected through an online voting process. To be eligible, businesses must be members of the chamber. The first round of voting lasted nearly a month, Fetters said, which determined the three finalists. More than 200 people participated in the second round of voting, which selected the winners.

For the citizen awards, a selection committee reviewed and scored each nominee.

“I think there’s some tried and true winners, and some new ones,” Fetters said. “This year I feel the awards did a good job of speaking for the community.”

It’s too late to buy tickets, as no tickets will be sold at the door this year. The event will be catered by Independence Grill.

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