We just love to talk about the Best of Delaware.
By far the biggest, most complicated and most time-consuming project we work on each year, it’s also our favorite, a chance to celebrate what makes Delaware great and to have some fun.
We hope you’ll notice some changes this year. First, we extended the reader balloting from one month to two in order to give more of you a voice and to expand the variety of winners. Success. We received more ballots, and we ended up with a diverse list of great places to go and things to do.
We, the editors—critics that we are—chose not to weigh in on the readers’ choice categories, except in a few cases. Why? We respect your opinion. We have in the past added our choices to let you know about other places we believed to be worthy of recognition. We did that this year, too, but in separate categories, not categories listed on the ballot. Nearly all the readers’ picks stand on their own.
This year, too, we present more than a mere list. With so many great places to write about, we dove into a few topics we thought were especially fun. Regular contributors Pam George, Ken Mammarella and Roger Morris go to the sources to find out how the best ice cream in Delaware is made, how the best band has managed to maintain its popularity for 40 years, how chefs Robbie Jester and Hari Cameron approach food and hospitality, how the best beer list is assembled and much more. In a word, we get some insight into what makes some of the winners great. Making them all look as great as they are is photographer Leslie Barbaro, who went to heroic lengths to deliver spectacular images.
Finally, we present some different places to go and things to do: state parks whose beauty rival any in the country, places to ditch the heat of summer and events that are as philanthropic as they are fun.
One thing, however, remains the same: We rely on our friends at Horty & Horty, P.A., to tabulate and certify the results, so you can be sure that everyone and everything listed in the big Best of Delaware feature is worthy of the honor.
We hope you enjoy the feature. We hope that you’ll visit the winners. We hope you’ll be making notes for the next round of balloting in a few months. And we hope to see you at the big Best of Delaware Party at the Chase Center on the Riverfront on Aug. 10, where you can see and taste many of the things that make our state such a wonderful place to live.
—Mark Nardone, Executive Editor