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Originally published: 2013-04-15 20:10:59
Last modified: 2013-04-15 20:10:58

Our View: A vote for the best of our community

It's hard to pin down the "best" of anything. After all, the word itself is open to opinion: Your definition of the best may not match that of your neighbor's. Indeed, it probably won't -- with one notable exception: Watauga County's Best of the Best.

It's exactly the openness to interpretation that gives the Watauga Democrat's  annual Best of the Best People's Choice Awards its value in honoring top business achievers in Watauga County. While the newspaper may organize the awards, we don't get to choose the winners. Our community does that, with votes tallied from our friends and neighbors -- in other words, people who use local business services regularly -- who list what business they believe is the best of the best in more than 100 categories, ranging from best barbecue to best veterinarian.

Each year, the competition is close. That's why you'll see the finalists listed with the winners in our special "Best of the Best" section inside today's newspaper.

But the reason that competition is close speaks volumes about the High Country. Despite ongoing economic challenges that affect everyone in Watauga County and despite, as our Best of the Best gala event keynote speaker rightly pointed out, a seeming national penchant for the acceptance of societal mediocrity, our local business leaders are working every day to offer superior services and goods. Simply put, each day they strive to be the best.

That our local business community is weathering this harsh economy is evidence that business owners are achieving that goal. But the proof is in how they are seen by the eyes of their customers -- and that proof is expressed by their customers' choice of the best businesses in our community. 

The "best" may be hard to pin down, but our community has managed to do so in dozens of categories found inside today's paper.