While you were dozing on fall break, Erie was celebrating the best of the best. Thursday, the Erie Reader hosted its first Flavor of Erie party.
It was an exclusive event held at the remote Pilot House located at 1 Holland St.
The small hall nestled in between docks holds World War II reminiscent iron-clad boats as well as the majestic brig Niagara.
Once you stepped inside, you could see the building, made up of at least 50 percent glass windows from ceiling to floor overlooking Erie’s beautiful Bayfront.
The purpose of Flavor of Erie was to celebrate the winners of the Best of Erie competition that the Erie Reader hosted.
However, the atmosphere of the event was not your typical awards ceremony.
Instead of sitting to watch the nominees receive their awards, guests were encouraged to mingle and make new connections. An exceedingly wise decision since the number of categories surpassed 150. That would have been an extremely long time to sit.
Instead, guests could enjoy the entertainment of the night. Best up-and-coming band/musician, Falling Hollywood, kept the crowd in good spirits as did nominee for best MC, C. Brown and MC Salt.
While the music played, guests could walk around the hall to local favorites Jekyll & Hyde’s Gastropub, Cloud 9, Lavery Brewing Company, The Brewerie at Union Station, Voodoo Brewpub, Erie Beer and the Sheraton Bayfront Grille, who shared their culinary delights as well as a few adult beverage samplings.
Jekyll & Hyde’s applewood bacon macaroni and cheese deserves an honorable mention among the Best of Erie.
Gannon University received its due spot in the star light. Gannon basketball was recognized as the Best College Team.
Gannon adjunct professor Sean Lafferty from WJET-TV won Best TV Personality.
Best of Erie Radio Station is Gannon’s own 90.5 WERG.
Former editor-in-chief of The Gannon Knight, Ben Speggen, was also a key component to the success of Best of Erie as the Erie Reader’s manager editor.
Editor-in-chief of the Erie Reader Adam Welsh said that the Erie Reader wanted to bring attention to a wide variety of local individuals, businesses and organizations that are doing great work in and around Erie.
“We started doing the Best of Erie so we could continue to highlight the best that Erie has to offer,” Welsh said. “We constantly strive to put Erie’s best foot forward and this is a new and fun way of doing that.”
The core readers of the Erie Reader come from all age groups, but typically represent the 25-45 demo.
“Lists like this are pretty common, but I think ours is extremely relevant in that it shows what a very influential cross section of Erie’s population thinks is the best in a host of categories,” Welsh said.
“That information is valuable to a business, and being named the “best” in anything is also (hopefully) a great motivator.”
The nomination forms were open Aug. 6 through Sept. 2 in four main categories: Goods & Services, Culture & Nightlife, Food & Drink and People & Places. Sept. 3 voting went live until midnight of Oct. 10. With all of the votes in, Erie Reader counted, verified and presented the top three winners from each category in their latest issue. This list is the inaugural class of the Best Of Erie.