Businesses and community members chosen as the best in town were honored at the Best of Liberty Awards ceremony at Bryant Commons, hosted by the Coastal Courier and Liberty Life Magazine.
Winners were invited to a special dinner Friday catered by Occasions Catering and Event Services. Guests enjoyed a variety of food, which included bacon-wrapped shrimp, a meat-carving station, crab salad, pastries and fruit. Attendees mingled ate together under the pavilion, where they received awards for the various Best of Liberty categories.
“We started 10 years ago with just a tab section, and it has grown from that to the point where this year, we had over 1,000 paper ballots and over 10,000 online entries,” Coastal Courier Business Manager Kathryn Fox said.
She told guests that their wins were significant to the community because many people participated in the vote.
The atmosphere at the ceremony was very casual and light-hearted. As the names of winners and their categories were called, there was applause and cheers. Izola’s Country Café won four categories: Best All-Around Restaurant, Best Home-Cooked Meal, Best Breakfast and Best Customer Service. When Glenn Poole accepted the awards, someone yelled “Best fried chicken!” Another time, someone else yelled, “That’s my pastor!” as Alan Darsey, pastor of Restoration Church, accepted his award for Best Pastor.
After all the winners were called, Fox said, “Give yourself a round of applause, because customer service is really hard to come by these days. This just shows how much of a difference you make to customers.”
The winners had an opportunity to take photos and record a video message saying “thank you” to the people who voted, along their customers.