The Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce will celebrate 41 years at its annual black tie optional Gala Jan. 18.
With more than 350 businesses in the local chamber, director Roxane Ferguson said that the event will be more about celebration than business.
"The culture of our area is unique," she said. "We will keep the business segmental to a minimum for awards and then we just want to celebrate all of the businesses and new members."
This year's Gala will recognize Bill O'Neil, who is serving as the Chamber's first Board of Directors President and other members of the Board as well.
Awards for citizen and business of the year will also be presented.
"We're very blessed that a lot of people want to do business here," Ferguson said.
The MACC not only has business members from the M.O.T. area, but from throughout Delaware and Maryland and New Jersey.
A variety of businesses make up the chamber, from large to small to non-profit.
In 2012, Microsoft joined the MACC after opening its first store in Delaware in the Christiana Mall.
About 80 percent of the chamber is made up of small businesses – many of which are local.
"We have a great business community," Ferguson said.
She said that a lot of people move to the Middletown area for its culture.
"It's a great place to live, work, and raise a family," she said. "There's something here for everyone."
The Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 10:30 p.m.
It will be hosted at the Middletown Fire Hall on Green Street with enough room for 250 guests – many more than last year's event at the Chesapeake City Inn, which sold out.
There will be an open bar, buffet, and performances by The Chatterband.
"It really exciting," Ferguson said. "We have 358 businesses in the chamber, which is awesome since we're a small town."
Tickets are $75 for members and $95 for non-members.
For ticket information, visit the Chamber's website at www.middletownareachamber.com.