The Crossett Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual banquet next week with World Champion bull rider Chase Outlaw as one of the night’s special guests.

The Chamber board hosts the banquet each year to honor the business of the year and others who work hard in the community all year. In addition to the Business of the Year award, other awards given this year will include Ambassador of the Year, Director of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and the Spirit Award.

The recipients are nominated by the Chamber members and voted on by the Board of Directors.

Chamber Executive Director Mandy Vickers-White said she was very excited to announce that Outlaw will speak at the event.

Outlaw, of Hamburg, is a professional bull rider who has made his way to the World Finals eight times and made a remarkable comeback after an injury to finish as the seventh ranked rider in the world last season.

In addition to being ranked as one of the top bull riders in the world, Outlaw has achieved other notable accomplishments throughout his career. This year, Outlaw was one of six bull riders in the country invited to represent Team America in the Global Cup in February.

Vickers-White said that in honor of Outlaw, the banquet will have a western theme and the banquet attire will be casual.

“Wear your cowboy boots and blue jeans,” she said.

Vickers-White said that she is also excited to talk about and update guests with the Chamber’s recent activity and plans.

The Chamber will soon be launching a Retail Merchants Association for retailers in the area, and Vickers-White said she is excited to get the word out to local business owners and the community.

“Most cities have some type of merchant’s association to give retailers opportunity to connect with each other and work together to grow their businesses,” she said.

Vickers-White said the Chamber’s next event following the banquet will be a breakfast on Feb. 5 for those interested in the new Retail Merchant’s Association.

Vickers-White said she plans to talk more about the new association as well as other Chamber events including an arts event they have partnered with the Crossett School District to host at the annual banquet.

“We have so many new and exciting things going on and I can’t wait to get the word out to the community,” she said.

The annual banquet will be Jan. 24 at Crossett Middle School. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner will start at 6 p.m.

Tickets and tables are on sale now and those interested can contact White at 870-500-8605.

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