Aug. 5—Beginning Aug. 8, you will have the opportunity to nominate your favorite individuals, businesses and organizations in the Dayton area.
The Best of Dayton contest presented by Dayton.com and the Dayton Daily News is back for the seventh year!
Last year's winners recently told Dayton.com they were honored to be nominated. They couldn't thank the community enough for supporting and selecting them as the best in the area.
"It's always a great feeling to be recognized as one of the best of anything in our community," said Tara Spoores, marketing director for Warped Wing Brewing Co. "Dayton is full of a lot of amazing businesses and great people, so for our team to be recognized in this sort of way is pretty awesome!"
Warped Wing Brewing Co. was recognized as the Best Craft Beer Bar and Best Local Brewery in our 2021 contest.
"We're just 'us' and it's cool that the Dayton community likes us for who we are," Spoores said.
Warped Wing's growth over the last few years likely contributed to their win. Spoores explained they have expanded their product line and food offerings in their taprooms.
"Each location has something unique and special to offer our guests and our team always goes above and beyond to create a memorable experience for those who visit," she added. "We have to attribute a lot of our success to our team members because they're truly the ones who keep people coming back to our taprooms time and time again."
Roger Glass, president and CEO of Marion's Piazza, said his employees take a lot of pride in being nominated as the Best Pizza Restaurant in the Dayton area.
"I know our employees look forward to it every year and they take a lot of pride in winning," said Glass. "Those kids work hard and without our loyal employees we wouldn't be where we are. I just think so many people know about this (contest) and look forward to (it). I know I do."
Marion's Piazza won Best Pizza Restaurant, Best Restaurant for a Large Group and Best Square-Cut Pizza in last year's contest.
Glass credits their consistency as one of the reasons they have won year after year.
"It's always an honor and we feel very privileged to win like we do," he said. "We've been in business for 57 years and we have a lot of loyal customers. We're very thankful for them because without them we wouldn't be around."
Justin Barbarino, who specializes in American Traditional, Neotraditional/Illustrative and Black and Gray Traditional tattoos at Black Cloud Tattoo, was recognized as the Best Tattoo Artist in 2021, after being nominated in previous years.
"It was a shock to be honest," Barbarino admitted. "I didn't promote it to my social media followers once I found out I had been nominated. After the shock, I felt very honored and grateful for my supporters and clients. I am truly nothing without them."
Barbarino told Dayton.com the Best of Dayton contest encouraged people to contact him or at the very least research him.
"I honestly believe that artists (of all kinds) evolve if they desire to remain creative and improve their output," he said. "I am hopeful that my dedication to improving my skills and work was the deciding factor."
Jay Peterson, director of marketing and special events for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC), said the renowned troupe was thrilled to be recognized as the Best Dance Group in 2021.
"Coming out of COVID, where entertainment venues, theatres, etc. were shut down, it was a welcome recognition that those who voted still recognize DCDC's excellence," Peterson said.
He explained whether DCDC performs locally, nationally or internationally, people recognize Dayton as having richness and excellence in its arts entertainment.
"We're proud to have Dayton in our name," Peterson said. "A DCDC audience is incredibly diverse — people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. That diversity adds to the richness of the dance experience."
Nominations for this year's Best of Dayton contest begins Monday, Aug. 8 and continues through Monday, Aug. 22. The number of nominations a person, business or organization receives will heavily determine the list of finalists. After a list of finalists is selected in each category, there will be a voting period beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Barbarino told Dayton.com he is excited for this year's contest.
"Not necessarily because I need to win again, but because I'm always excited to see friends and colleagues get recognized for their hard work and dedication to this ancient art form," he said.
"We look forward to the contest every year — nothing like a little fun and friendly competition among our community," Spoores said. "It's really all in fun though — we want everyone to succeed and be the Best of Dayton."
"It's always great to see all the 'best of ... winners,'" Peterson added. "Dayton has so much to offer and so many entities that make it a great place to live."
For more information about the Best of Dayton contest, view our contest guidelines or find out how you can get involved.