‘I do, I do; Let’s party!’ | SummitDaily.com

‘I do, I do; Let’s party!’

JANE STEBBINSsummit daily news

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk At the center of it all - Ernie Blake and Sharon Magness making a toast to their friends and family for being present at their wedding Sunday afternoon at their Triple Creek Ranch.

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County locals polished off their pearls and ironed their finest threads in preparation for what many called Colorado’s event of the decade: the wedding of Sharon Magness and Ernie Blake.Magness, a noted Colorado philanthropist, and Blake, an attorney and the mayor of Breckenridge, were married Sunday afternoon in front of almost 500 people at their Triple Creek Ranch north of Silverthorne. Guests, most of whom arrived on shuttle buses from surrounding towns, were greeted with champagne as they checked in, then bused farther to a blindingly white event tent overlooking a scenic pond and the Lower Blue Valley.

Blake’s three sons escorted him from the ranch house to the pond, where they awaited Magness, who, adorned in a golden gown, rode in on her white stallion – and Denver Broncos mascot – Thunder. Country singer Lee Greenwood sang “God Bless the U.S.A.” for the bride’s grand entrance. As if to celebrate the beautiful surrounds, the minister quoted from the Book of Genesis about the creation of earth and man. He then quoted from Corinthians’ the “Love Chapter.” The minister talked about the philosophy of love, from the platonic and selfish Eros to the unwavering and loyal agape before pronouncing the couple husband and wife. The wedding party departed to the ranch house in an oversized golf cart with a sign on the back, “Just Married.”

Inside the banquet tent, the 85-piece National Repertory Orchestra conducted by Carl Topilow played an array of show tunes, including “One Singular Sensation” from “A Chorus Line,” “Memory” from “Cats” and “What I Did for Love” from “Chess.”As Topilow noted, it’s not often anyone can dance before an 85-piece orchestra.Later, colorful fireworks filled the night sky, with explosions echoing off into the valley.

“It was well done, quite the spectacle,” said Breckenridge town manager Tim Gagen. “Just one experience after another. They said in the invitation it would be a party to remember.”After dinner – lobster, shrimp, beef and miniature wedding cakes for dessert – The Big Band from Boulder cranked up the energy a notch, blasting out tunes for those who filled the dance floor.”I thought it was great,” said local comedian Jeffrey Bergeron, who also is a Breckenridge Town Council member. “It was a nice marriage between the various cultures: the Denver movers and shakers and the Summit County miscreants.”

Former Breckenridge mayor Sam Mamula, Councilmember J.B. Katz, Councilmember Eric Mamula, Bergeron and others toasted the newlyweds, citing their dedication to the community and their obvious love for each other.With the speeches tipping heavily to Blake, all of Sharon’s girlfriends were called on stage in one big counterbalancing toast to the bride.An array of celebrities was on hand to share in the festivities, including country singer Garth Brooks, country singer Trisha Yearwood, former Sen. Gary Hart and Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell among others.

“It was quite a shindig; it was fun,” said Dick Carleton, managing partner with the Hearthstone Restaurant Group. “It was a large affair and over the top, but there was still a great spirit of community there. And the wine was pretty damn good, too.”The celebs joined throngs of locals, including newlyweds Eric and Sara Mamula, the past three mayors of Breckenridge – Blake, Sam Mamula and Steve West and their respective wives – the entire Breckenridge Town Council, Sheriff John Minor, Breckenridge Ski Resort chief operating officer Roger McCarthy, Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman, District Court Judge Terry Ruckriegle and many others.”I loved the diversity,” said town communications director Kim DiLallo. “You had the cooks and staff at Fatty’s all the way up to the people who were Sharon’s girlfriends who helped her raise millions of dollars for different charities. It didn’t matter where you were in your walk of life; everyone was there to have fun.”

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“It was a fabulous soiree,” said Councilmember Larry Crispell. “It was a great bonding of the communities of Denver and Breckenridge. The stars of the show, Sharon and Ernie, seamlessly pulled off a gala that will never be seen again in the annals of Breckenridge social events.”Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.