Happy 100th birthday, Felix Belmont! Paonia, Colorado, came out in style last Saturday to celebrate their most famous resident's milestone birthday. If you are in Paonia this time next year, you can celebrate the official town holiday of Felix Belmont Day.

I traveled with Clark Gault's Swing City Express last Saturday, June 30, to perform at a celebration for Felix's birthday. Let me tell you, Paonia knows how to throw a party. The town came together and presented a 1940s U.S.O style performance for Felix.

The Swing City Express first met Felix when he emceed an event at Paonia's Blue Sage Theatre a few months ago. That's right, Felix's career background is radio. Felix and company enjoyed the big band music at the Blue Sage so much they asked the band to perform at his birthday.

Yet, that's the view from the bass player's perspective when playing in a 10-piece big band. Fascinating, isn't it?

The dance number in the video at top was one of three fantastic skits performed during the afternoon party. The remainder of the event featured the Swing City Express showcasing tunes such as In The Mood, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, and String of Pearls.

Towards the end of the festivities, a number of local politicians, including town council members, presented Felix with a plaque designating it "Felix Belmont Day." I had a chance to speak with Felix, and he mentioned his 100th birthday was actually the previous Thursday, June 28.

For the record, Felix wasn't the oldest person at this 100th birthday celebration. There was a woman in the audience who was a youthful 104 years old. I also heard mention of a 101-year-old woman somewhere in the audience.

Happy birthday, Felix! Oh, by the way, you have a beautiful piece of property. The entire band was envious. We hope you'll have us back for your 101st birthday.

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