The time is almost here!! The FestivalSouth Best of the Pine Belt Awards, brought to you by Southern Eye Center, are open for voting this coming Monday, July 4!! From home builders to hair stylists, custom cabinets to craft cocktail concocters, you can now vote on your favorite local businesses and people.
We were overwhelmed last year when you nominated your favorites over 110,000 times. Well, this year we counted 132,144 nominations, and we can’t wait to tally the votes. Simply go to hubcityspokes.com and click on the link to voice your opinions. You can vote once each day for each category through July 24, so vote early and often. Every vote counts!
Developing the list of finalists is always an interesting experience. These days the computer does the work, unlike the days in the not-so-distant past when we had to tally paper ballots. I remember buying pizza for the staff as we worked late into the night preparing the list!
What never changes is that there is a long list of businesses and professionals that seem to show up year-after-year on the list of finalists. These are the business owners and professionals who took risks and were successful at developing businesses that have made a true impact on our community. These folks drive our economy and make the Pine Belt what it is – a truly special place to live and work. Nothing makes you prouder of your community than reading through this list.
You will find the complete list of finalists online at hubcityspokes.com and in the July issue of Signature Magazine, and the winners will be announced in our August issue of Signature Magazine. You won’t have to wait for the August issue to see if your favorites won, because we are very busy planning an extravaganza of an event to announce this year’s winners. We’ve planned a dinner/dance to be held at the Forrest County Multipurpose Center on July 30. With the theme of “1950s Sock Hop,” we are ready to party like it’s 1952! Almost all of us have costumes at the ready, planning to attend as a pink lady or in a fabulous poodle skirt. You can attend in a costume, in black tie, or in your favorite jeans, but we want to see you there! Tickets are available only through our office, and they are going fast, so call us at 601-268-2331, or email me at email@example.com to reserve yours. Tickets are $40 each and you can reserve a table for 10 for $400.
Personally, I’m attending as a Rydell High cheerleader from Grease. Shopping for the costume is half the fun, but I had to wonder how many 60-something-year-old cheerleaders there have been, in the 1950s or at any time! Apparently, I’m of the school of thought that believes a costume can transport you through time in more ways than one!
Christina Pierce is the publisher at Hattiesburg Publishing, which produces The Pine Belt News and Signature Magazine.