Saturday - The Thrill of Competition!!!

Calm before the storm!

 Saturday was a long day of waiting as other delegations from around the country still had to complete their presentations. Some of our delegates took advantage of free time to visit the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and South Street; jog through city streets & parks; attend the Irish or Arts Festival or simply watch the rest of the presentations. 

In any case, there was an air of tension and optimism as the delegates assembled back at the Marriott for the awards ceremony. Following a short reception delegates were ushered into the main hall where the program began with a rousing slide show accompanied by the strains of "Coming to America" and "This Land is Your Land." Thunderous applause and cheering greeted each new slide showing delegates from all over the country during their stay in Philadelphia.

Tension really mounted for the Valley delegation as the announcements were made. Brief descriptions preceding the naming of each community had the delegates on the edge of their seats several times in anticipation of an award that never came. When the announcement of Tallahassee came as the tenth and final choice was made, Valley delegates cheered as loudly and enthusiastically as anyone in the hall though they realized that it meant that our first trip as a finalist would not result in a victory.

Following the ceremony, there was a buffet for all of the delegates from across the country and a community dance. Valley delegates participated in both and had the opportunity to share ideas and experiences gained with counterparts from all over the country.

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Hopes were high as the evening began with a reception.
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The awards had the feel of a presidential convention!
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Saturdaynight25.jpg (52259 bytes) Watching others named was both frustrating and uplifting. To be in such great company was an honor. Tallahassee sent shudders through the hall as they concluded the awards ceremony with a touching rendition of "Danny Boy." Saturdaynight28.jpg (65731 bytes)
Down, But Certainly Not Out!
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We may have been hurting on the inside, but you couldn't tell from this shot.

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