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The ninth annual BV Strong Dinner is in the history books now and it will be marked as a success.

This year’s event on Monday, September 19 turned the Main Street of the town of Buena Vista (BV) into the Community Dining Room. The sharing of a meal, and the gathering together as a community of neighbors, make this celebration a confirmation of “BV Strong.”

“I think it’s really special and unique to sit everybody in your community down on Main Street,” said Derek Howe, a recent transplant from Lakewood, Colorado. The 30-something new resident said it was his first time attending the BV Strong Dinner. “It’s special and I feel very fortunate to be invited to have dinner with our neighbors,”  he added.

All ages and all appetites gathered on East Main Street in Buena Vista on Sept. 19 for the ninth annual “BV Strong”. Photo by Landon James.

The night was a perfect evening, combining gorgeous weather, moderate temperatures, good humor, and picnic tables loaded with food flowing east and west on East Main Street, as far as the eye could see.

The dinner began years ago, after a local tragedy in nearby Chalk Creek Canyon killed several members of the same Buena Vista family. In grief, volunteers from the town created this shared meal as a way to signify the community setting aside differences and coming together to support them.

Now, it stands as confirmation of the “strength of place” that is BV. It’s the one day a year when our most beautiful views aren’t looking to the east or to the west in this beautiful valley – they’re right across the table from you. That sentiment wasn’t just shared by Buena Vista natives and long-time residents this year. It is understood by its newest residents, who say they felt welcomed and already part of the community.

“I’ve never been a part of a community like this before, it’s very special,” said new resident Alex Kamey. She added that her recent move from Lakewood up to Buena Vista was just in time to make this her first-ever BV Strong Dinner.

Featured image: Triple rows of tables and chairs marched down Main St. in Buena Vista at the 2022 BV Strong Dinner. Photo by Landon James.