2009 Guide to Readers' Picks

Seven is our favorite number, for obvious reasons. So this seventh consecutive iteration of the Daysies makes us extra happy about doling out awards. No doubt the people who win them will feel the same — especially those who’ve won every single time. Getting bored yet, you perennials? Didn’t think so.

What really blew us away this year was the sheer number of readers who voted — 3600, to be exact — and the vast majority of them used our online survey. As we’ve told you before, it really helps with the arithmetic when you can capture the answers from a website and dump them into a spreadsheet. Our staff pizza-and-beer counting night is a receding memory, and to replace it we all get together and recite poems from memory. Kidding about that last part.

Anyway. Regular readers will find many familiar names here. That’s because a lot of individuals and businesses are unfailingly popular and, as luck would have it, are still alive. Some dueling competitors just seem to swap places each year, so the suspense is in finding out who took home the Daysie and who was runner-up. But, trust us, there were a few upsets in 2009.

To offset the hegemony of population-heavy Chittenden County, we included more “Outside” categories this year wherever the number of votes justified it. That ushered in a whole host of new winners, primarily in central Vermont. And, as usual, we introduced some new categories, changed the wording of a few classics, and eliminated others altogether. This fluctuation inevitably upsets somebody, but there’s usually a net gain on the happy side. If you’re in the former camp, please accept our condolences.

Thanks to the community of readers and advertisers who contribute to making Vermont the “best” in so many ways, and who are helping this independent, locally owned media enterprise survive in a very challenging time. Like we always say, without you we’d be pushing up You-Know-What.