2010 Guide to Readers' Picks

Eight is a number with gravitas; who knows why? Perhaps because eight years is the better part of a decade, and we’re kind of stunned to think we’ve given out Daysie awards so long. But that’s a good thing. At least, the winners think so.

Seems like plenty of readers enjoy picking them, too — the number of responses to our survey surpassed 3500, the vast majority of them online. Paper ballots are almost a thing of the past, thanks to SurveyMonkey.com.

Anyhoo, regular readers will find many familiar names here. A lot of individuals and businesses are just damn popular — what can we say? Some dueling competitors seem to trade places from year to year, so the only suspense is in finding out who took home the prize and who was runner-up. Still, some upsets and a handful of new categories keep the Daysies from wilting.

To offset vote-heavy Chittenden County, we created even more “Outside” categories this year. Look for new winners primarily in central Vermont.

We changed the wording of a few standards and eliminated others altogether.

Sorry if this fluctuation bums anyone out, but we’re confident life will go on. One general observation about the results: The recession’s influence appeared as a slight uptick in votes for less expensive stores and restaurants, even if discounters didn’t claim any Daysies. For the most part, respondents still favor locally owned retailers and tried-and-true service providers — and indulge themselves with the increasing number of farm-fresh dining options around the state.

Thanks to the loyal community of readers and advertisers who contribute to making Vermont a winning place in so many ways, and who continue to help this independent, locally owned media enterprise buck the trends and thrive. It must be said again: Without you we’d be pushing up … you know.