By Doug LaRocque
For three years now, NYVT Media’s Free Press publication has honored the best businesses and civic organizations in the county, as voted by the paper’s readers. The 2023 ceremony was held Thursday evening, Nov. 9, at the Fort Salem Theater, with more than 60 first, second and runner-up awards handed out. Many of the winners picked up their plaque for a second and even third time.
The theater, a venerable old structure, first built as a church, was purchased in 1974 and converted into a theater. It has since undergone many renovations and hosted packed houses. Such was the case for the Best of Washington County presentation, as there was hardly an empty seat in the place.
The invited guests enjoyed a wide variety of pre-show food samplings from many vendors, all part of the awards ceremony. Musical entertainment was provided by the Whiskey River Band.
Each category had a special presenter, including the executive and artistic director for the theater, Kyle West, who started off the ceremonies. Others included state Sen. Jake Ashby, who later described the whole event as “impressive, very impressive. I am honored to be a part of it.”
Joining him was Cambridge Mayor Carman Bogle, who beamed with pride each time she presented a plaque to a Cambridge-based business.
Telescope Casual Furniture CEO Kathy Juckett said the ceremonies help “show the importance and significance of our local businesses and organizations.” Telescope again claimed the honor as the Best Place to Work in the county.
Other comments from attending individuals included “what a great showcase for our county” and “it’s so nice to see our hardworking local people receive the honor they deserve.”
The entire list of winners will appear in the Best of Washington County publication due out shortly.