Top 10 Moments from the Annual Banquet

For those that attended the Forty-Eight Annual Banquet, you witnessed a night of non-stop fun, complete with lasers, pyrotechnics, stand-up comedy, dancers, and awards. In case you missed it, let us break down our top 10 favorite moments from the celebration in no particular order!

1. The Opening Act

The opening act had a lot of people involved and took the most rehearsal time before the show. After dinner was served, Roxanne Fox gave the invocation and Ethan Carlson played the Reveille on Trumpet. Shortly after, a pre-recorded rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, sang by Jessi Doke, was played. Paulyn’s dancers and Norfolk Senior High’s Flag Corp came in and stole the show as they performed to Aldo Nova’s “Fantasy” and Fall out Boy’s “Light Em’ Up.” Lasers, Sparks, and flashes of fire set the mood for the whole night!

2. Abby Nicole

Not only was local country singer Abby Nicole one of our keynote speakers, but she also performed her hit singles throughout the show. She shared her inspiring personal story that left the audience in awe and she also talked about her journey as she gets ready to head to Nashville to pursue her dreams.

3. The Table Decor

As tradition goes, every sponsor of the Annual Banquet gets to showcase their business by decking out a table that includes special giveaways and then a “Best Decorated Table” is awarded during the evening. This year, businesses took their tables to new heights with dazzling light shows and custom-built centerpieces. Pictured below, our 2017 best decorated table was Northeast Machine and Manufacturing.

4. #HotRef takeover

Clete Blakeman, a Norfolk native and referee in the NFL, earned his nickname of “Hot Ref” when he refereed Super Bowl 50. He joined us onstage as our last keynote speaker of the evening and reminded everyone that Norfolk gave him his roots.

5. Pump It

Jarad Dahlkoetter, the host for the evening, joined the dancers on stage and rapped “Pump it” by the Black Eyed Peas right before jumping into the dancers’ choreography and busting a move. He then performed a stand-up, comedy segment for the audience to start the night.

6. The Norfolk Oscar Award

The Norfolk Oscar is a prestigious award going back decades that is similar to a lifetime achievement award. It is only given to people who have made a big impact on the Norfolk Area. We were thrilled to give it to Scott and Lori Williams and their kids even filmed a secret video that was played right before the announcement. It was a special moment for this special couple.

7. The Ice Sculpture

The Ice Sculpture had its’ moments all night long as people touched it to make sure it was real. A company out of Omaha hand-sculpted this design and our chamber member, Just Chillin’ Ice, made a special trip to pick it up for the event. Amy, from Magnolias Home Decor and Design, built the beautiful, cascading bouquet that was mounted on top.

8. Miss Nebraska USA

Miss Nebraska USA 2017, Jasmine Fuelberth, sparkled on the stage as one of our keynote speakers. As a Norfolk Native, she dazzled the audience with her personal story and motivated everyone to live life to the fullest. She also shared her journey as she gets ready to compete in the Miss USA pageant.

9. Miss Nebraska USA??

Our emcee, Jarad, talked about how hard it was to accomplish his goals during the opening, stand-up comedy segment. He achieved one of his goals in front of everyone at the banquet with the help of Jasmine and was crowned Miss Nebraska 2017.

10. The Backdrop

The stage backdrop was a crucial part of the show. It was custom-built for the event by the Event Director and his grandfather Jerry Dahlkoetter, and was designed to be lighted. All 11 panels were pieced together to form an abstract stage design that complimented the lasers and theme.

 Photo Credits: Brittnay Therese Dawson