Best of the PineBelt: Annual competition begins nomination process


As of Monday, the nominations process for this year’s Best of the Pine Belt Awards went live. Once again, several key categories will be selected to be featured at the Best of the Pine Belt Awards Show at the Saenger Theater. Those categories are selected from the nomination and final voting process. All voting takes place at the official festival website,

“The nomination process is crucial to the overall success of the competition,” said David Gustafson, publisher of Signature Magazine and The PineBelt NEWS.

“The individuals and businesses who receive the most nominations will advance as finalists when voting begins next month.” 

Last year, more than 634,000 votes created a guide to the Pine Belt’s favorite people, places and things that make the area great. Once again, the complete list of “best” will be featured in the festival program that encompasses the June edition of Signature Magazine. 

The Best of the Pine Belt Awards Show is a gala, red-carpet evening that is one of the highlights of FestivalSouth. This year’s award show is scheduled for Saturday, June 1, at the historic Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg. Featuring special guests, awards presentations, live music and more, it is one of the hottest tickets of the festival.

To nominate your favorites, simply log on to and click on the Best of the Pine Belt. 

There, follow the link to choose a category and nominate your favorites.

Best of the Pine Belt nominations are now live!

Go to to make nominations in the categories below. You can submit nominations once per indvidual category per day. Some new categories have been included.



Best Ambassador of The Avenues
Best Downtown Hattiesburg Ambassador
Best Laurel Ambassador
Best Midtown Hattiesburg Ambassador
Best Annual Event
Best Apartment Community
Best Bed & Breakfast
Best Behind the Scenester
Best Cheap Date
Best Community Activist
Best Event Space
Best Fundraising Event
Best Local Legislator
Best Local Pastor
Best Hattiesburger
Best Hotel
Best Mover & Shaker
Best Neighborhood
Best Outdoor Event
Best Pine Belt Personality
Best Place of Worship
Best Place to Play Trivia
Best Place to Take a First Date
Best Private School
Best Senior Living Center
Best Troublemaker
Best Unsung Hero
Best Volunteer
Most-Effective Non Profit


Best Barber Shop
Best Chiropractor
Best Dental Practice
Best Family Outing
Best Golf Course
Best Hair Salon
Best Hospital/Medical Center
Best Mani/Pedi
Best Medical Specialty Clinic
Best Pharmacy
Best Place to Exercise
Best Spa
Best Veterinarian Clinic
Best Water-Based Attraction


Best Appetizer
Best Bar Ambience
Best Barbecue
Best Barista
Best Bartender
Best Breakfast
Best Brunch
Best Buffet
Best Chinese Restaurant
Best Chips and Salsa
Best Cocktail
Best Coffee Shop
Best Comfort Food
Best Chicken Strips
Best Crawfish
Best Dessert
Best Dive Bar
Best Ethnic Cuisine (Other)
Best French Fries
Best Hamburger
Best Happy Hour
Best Hot Dog
Best Ice Cream/Frozen Treat
Best Intimate Dining
Best Late Night Menu
Best Local Chef
Best Locally-Brewed Beer
Best Mexican Restaurant
Best New Restaurant
Best Pizza
Best Place to Cure a Hangover
Best Restaurant Overall
Best Restaurant to Take Kids
Best Restaurant to Take Parents
Best Restaurant We Wish Were Still Open
Best Salad
Best Sandwich
Best Seafood Dish
Best Service/Waitstaff
Best SnoCone Stand
Best Soup
Best Steak
Best Sushi
Best Vegetarian Options


Album of the Year
Best Burlesque Performer
Best Cultural Event
Best Female Vocalist
Best House/Cover Band
Best Live Musical Act
Best Local Actor/Actress
Best Local Author
Best Local Comic
Best Local Instagrammer
Best Live Music Photographer
Best Local Podcast
Best Local Radio DJ
Best Local Radio Station
Best Local Songwriter
Best Local Visual Artist
Best Male Vocalist
Best Musical Duo/Group
Best New/Emerging Artist
Best Place to Karaoke
Best Place to See Local Music
Best Student Production
Best Tattoo Artist
Best Twitter Feed
Best Local Theatre Production
Best Local TV Personality
Best Overall Tattoo Shop
Best Wedding/Engagement
Song of the Year


Best Attorney
Best Automotive Repair Shop
Best Bank
Best Beer Store
Best Business We Wish Were Still Open
Best Car Dealership
Best Computer Store
Best Dry Cleaner
Best Financial Advisor
Best Florist
Best Furniture Store
Best Garden Center
Best Gift Registry
Best Gift Shop
Best Grocery Store
Best Hardware Store
Best Insurance Agency
Best Jewelry Store
Best Liquor Store
Best Local Realtor
Best Local Real Estate Agency
Best Men's Clothing
Best Pet Groomer
Best Screenprinter
Best Shoe Store
Best Unique Find
Best Vintage/Antiques
Best Wine Store
Best Women's Clothing