Local businesses, organizations, individuals and the city manager were recognized during the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce's 53rd Annual Awards Celebration.

The awards ceremony was held at the Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center Wednesday, Nov. 12, with Belfast attorney Lee Woodward serving as the featured speaker and award presenter.

City Manager Joe Slocum received the Citizen of the year award.

Speaking Friday, Nov. 15, to The Republican Journal, Slocum said he was completely shocked when he learned he was chosen for the Citizen of the Year award. Initially, Slocum said he thought the award might go to Mayor Walter Ash Jr., but as he listened more to the presentation he thought possibly the city council would be named the winner.

However, when the moment came when his name was announced, Slocum could hardly believe it.

“If I got struck by a meteor I would not be any more shocked,” he said.

While Slocum was pleased to receive the award, he said he felt it was only appropriate to accept it on behalf of all the city's staff members and department heads — a sentiment he reiterated in a memo sent to employees Friday morning.

“In good conscience I can only accept this award if you and your co workers accept this award as well. I am only a little grease here — it is you who are the hard grinding wheels. I have made many mistakes in this job and I hope that I have learned from them. I do not want to make the mistake of thinking it's me here when I know, that in truth, it is really you,” Slocum wrote to city employees.

This year's award winners were:

Growth Award Winner: Front Street Shipyard

Healthy Waldo County Award: Waldo County YMCA

Community Spirit Award: Maine Celtic Celebration

New Entrepreneur Award: The Juice Cellar

Hometown Heritage Award: Colburn Shoe Store

Community Volunteer Award: Elaine Bielenberg

Building Community Award: Our Town Belfast

Citizen of the Year: Joe Slocum