Our annual Best of St. Louis issue is a beast to put together. It's triple the size of our regular issue, planning for the special edition begins many months in advance, and nasty office fights break out over who should win "Best Athlete's Butt."
But it's all worth it, thanks to you.
The best part about Best of St. Louis season is watching the reactions on social media when a person or business wins one of our awards, which obviously are more coveted than an Oscar and ESPY combined. And when we get to break the news ourselves? Man, people are so happy, we're positive that this is what the Publishers Clearing House folks feel like when they bring one of those hilariously large fake checks to someone's doorstep. It's magic, we tell you.
We noticed quite a few of our winners getting giddy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this year. Below, check out some of our favorite reactions, and then scroll down for information about celebrating with us at our Best of St. Louis party. (Psst, enter the promo code RFTBEST and get $10 off your tickets to our celebration of all the Best Of winners!)
JILLY'S ICE CREAM BAR
After winning "Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt," the always-effervescent Jilly's Ice Cream Bar account shared this adorable photo and sentiment. Yeah, if you mention us and "lick" in the same thought, we're going to notice.
I WENT TO A SHOW
Jess Luther, one of the I Went to a Show team members, tagged us with an adorable gif from The Office after winning "Best Music Blog."
We couldn't let an opportunity for an Office gif battle go by, so we naturally responded with this.
And this is why we like Jess Luther.
I WORK AT A LIBRARY
Gina Sheridan, winner of this year's "Best Blog" award, reminded us that we've also given Kendra Holliday some recognition.
But sadly, Sheridan's commitment to educating St. Louis about the Dewey Decimal System might keep her from celebrating with us this week.
DEAD WAX RECORDS
This is pretty much the cutest, most on-point reaction to winning an award that we've seen yet. There's a reason Dead Wax gets all kinds of love, including our "Best Place to Buy Vinyl" award. Party time, indeed!
Upon learning that she won "Best Hair on a Local TV Personality (Female)," KMOV (Channel 4) reporter Laura Hettiger posted photos of some of her memorable coifs.
Since we don't know hairspray from aerosol deodorant (Tip: They don't do the same things!), we expressed envy over Hettiger's prowess at taming her 'do. Luckily, she got back to us with an offer we can't refuse.
Muhammad Austin perfectly fits the 2014 "Best of St. Louis" theme of "DIY," as he and his M.M.E. collective have been bootstrapping it for years. We got warm fuzzies when Mvstermind posted the following on his Instagram account after winning "Best Musical Act (Not a Band)":
EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING ON TIME. I won Riverfront Times best musical Act today. That's huge in my eyes. Damn.... Thank you. #mmettmldom go grab a copy of the paper.
CIVIL LIFE BREWING COMPANY
All of this year's winners have shown tremendous excitement and pride in making St. Louis such a wonderful place to live. But what we've really enjoyed seeing is how everyone roots for the other guys. Nearly all of our winners and nominees shared the love by giving shout-outs to innovators around town, showcasing the St. Louis spirit that comes from this tremendous DIY community. Civil Life, our winner for "Best Craft Brewery," is a great example of sharing the spotlight with Schlafly and nodding at other brewers that are putting St. Louis on the nation's beer map.
Congratulations to all 2014 "Best of St. Louis" winners and nominees, and a hearty thank-you to everyone who makes St. Louis what it is -- a city of entrepreneurial character, infectious charm and unwavering pride. If you haven't picked up your commemorative "Best of St. Louis" issue, check newsstands for a scant few remaining copies. And we hope you'll celebrate with us at our Best of St. Louis party this Thursday, October 2, at the Moto Museum -- check here for info and tickets. And don't forget to use the promo code RFTBEST to get $10 off your tickets.
Look for party photos in the days after!