CONWAY— The winners in the Best of Mount Washington Valley Readers Choice Awards were unveiled to a packed house Tuesday at Tuckerman Brewing Co. in Conway Village.
Leading up to the annual party was six weeks of voting by valley residents for local businesses and professionals in nearly 150 categories.
The contest this year was sponsored by Badger Realty, Settlers Green, Profile Subaru, Attitash Ski Area, Story Land, Memorial Hospital, Mt. Washington Chamber of Commerce and Mt. Washington Valley Economic Council.
A record number of voters, about 13,400, cast a record number of ballots, more than 330,000.
The names of the winners are available online at conwaydailysun.com/bestof2019.
Banners with the names of the first-, second- and third-place finishers also will be hanging in front of the Sun building on Seavey Streeet for the next few days.
The winners also will be featured in a weekend edition of theSun later this month as well as in a glossy magazine to be published in September.
Daily Sun Publisher Mark Guerringue said he was thrilled with the number of responses the contest received.
“'Best of' contests are run in towns and cities across the country, and proportionally, we get far more participation than in most places,” he said.
“In Salt Lake City, for instance, 15,000 people cast ballots and we had more than 13,000. That’s pretty amazing and shows how engaged our community is,” Guerringue said.
At the party, revelers enjoyed music by Riley Parkhurst Project, food from Dueling Chefs food truck, and, of course, a full slate of Tuckerman beers.
The party gave locals a chance to take a quick break from the busy summer season. “People chatted with friends, had a beer or two and checked out the award results,” Guerringue noted.
The winners received certificates suitable for framing, as well as display and window stickers. “To be chosen by the community to be the best at what you do, I think, is a very high honor, and we encourage the winners to promote that accomplishment,” Guerringue said.
Regarding voting patterns, he said there were a few categories where some businesses had a lock, but most tallies were close.
A good example is the category of chicken wings. “I’m not sure how anyone will ever beat Delaney’s," Guerringue said. “They won by 800 votes.”
However, in most categories, the top three nominations receive 400-500 votes and the votes are close. “We’re always surprised by how, in many categories, the results are separated by just 10 or 15 votes,” he said.