As the stage microphone speakers rang out, “Testing, testing…Mic Check…1, 2, 1, 2”—Stride Event Center employees laid table settings on sold-out ballroom tables. Executive Chef Justin Craparotta’s delicious Chicken Cordon Bleu sizzled in the ovens. Host Courtney Strzinek continued her pre-show rehearsal during the early hours of the evening on June 3rd, 2022. Enid’s newest Award Show was set to honor local businesses and showcase “the best” Enid has to offer.
In its inaugural year, Enid Monthly’s “Best of Enid” Award Show sold 340 tickets to anticipating Enidites. Preparing the final details of the event in the week leading up to the ceremony, Enid Monthly Publisher/Editor, Robert Faulk, was amazed by the reception of ticket and table sales. “Our goal was 150 tickets,” Robert said, “and when we got to 340, Stride told us to cut it off! They did not have enough room for any more tables. We couldn’t have been more surprised, and happy, especially for our first year.”
Almost 75,000 votes were cast during the online voting process that lasted several weeks. Finalists and guests from 50 categories such as Lenox (Best Burger Finalist), Natural Remedies (Best Medical Marijuana/CBD Winner) and TLC Dental (Gold Sponsor and Best Dental Care Winner) all united to represent the best Enid has to offer.
Enid has some of the best businesses because we have some of the best people. “Best of” polls are common, but it’s always fun to acknowledge the creative and entrepreneurial businesses within our town. The Best of Enid Awards Show was meant to bring all of these people together for one joined celebration of the community we share, and the appreciation we have for one another. An event not only honoring the “Best” businesses chosen “#1” by the people of Enid but celebrating all of the businesses that Enid loves to support. With the winning businesses announced live during the ceremony, all finalists were given the chance to bask in their own “best-ness.”
After the doors opened at 6:30 pm, host Courtney Strzinek began the evening with a joyous “Welcome” to the attendees at 7 pm, and shortly after, dinner was served in the sunny, window-filled west hallway of Stride Event Center. Light beams from the setting sun danced off the dessert tables cake icing, and the attendants circled the buffet tables and raffle prizes (Pitboss 850 Pro charcoal grill from Lowe’s Home Improvement, $500 in Visa gift cards donated by Bath Planet of Oklahoma, and a diamond jewelry item from Ediger’s Diamonds). Kent Chapin, from Gold Sponsor Wing Stop, was the first presenter and announced the first award of the evening for “Best Apartments,” which went to Esplanade at Stonebridge Village. Representatives from the apartments were present to accept the award.
When reflecting on Esplanade at Stonebridge Village winning “Best Apartments”, Mindy Vassar said, “Enid is home! No matter if you lived here a short time, moved away, or have lived here your entire life—it is home.” And, as the property manager of one of Enid’s most sought-after luxury apartment complexes, Mindy spoke of her excitement about being involved with Enid Monthly’s Best of Enid Awards Show 2022, “I personally love that Enid is growing with more local businesses and bringing in reasons for people to visit. This show is a reflection of that.”
Apartments serve as a great link to Enid for the people and families moving to our city, and this is a bridge to building bigger and better communities in town, “It was nice to come together as a community and show each other support”, Mindy continues. “We thoroughly enjoyed the award show. For the first event, we do not think it could have gone any better!”. Mindy’s excitement about receiving this year’s award shows how vital customer service is to a town that is looking towards growth and being considered the best. “We have a phenomenal staff, highly dedicated to resident satisfaction.” Esplanade may be one of the newer apartment facilities in town, but they’ve mastered the art of providing for their client’s needs in the best ways possible.
Many took to the stage to accept their awards in person. While the ballroom was busting at the seams with Enid’s newly awarded “Best”, some of the night’s winners who were not able to make it (and couldn’t buy a ticket even if they wanted to) were out-and-about enjoying Enid’s downtown nightlife. The final award of the evening was given to Wings to Go for “Best Wings,” and as the owner thanked the voters of Enid for the honor to be considered the town’s best, he mentioned the nail-biter game he was in the middle of watching across the street at David Allen Memorial Ballpark. The JUCO World Series was in the final days of play, and he stepped away from the exciting game to be present in case they won the award.
Living a good life, and providing one for those around us, have always been important to the residents of Enid. The traditions in place for many of the local businesses provide not only entertainment, but they show a sense of deep-rooted community. Elaine Johns, Marketing Director for Golden Oaks Retirement Village, talked about the privilege it was to win “Best Senior Living.” “I want to thank the Academy…”, she joked, stating, “I accept this award on behalf of all the finalists in this category, for all that we do within our community for the elderly. We do important work…and, I say thank you on behalf of us all.” This generosity is perhaps a glimpse into why the community voted Golden Oaks “Best” this year.
Ediger’s Diamonds, another Gold Sponsor this year, was a winner for “Best Jewelry.” In accepting the award, Curtis Ediger also honored the competition noting “we are really fortunate to have such good jewelers in town. Competition makes us all better, and we are just so proud of our staff, especially, in winning this award.”
Gold sponsor Todd Berdit from Bath Planet of Oklahoma was excited to be a part of the show. “We feel very fortunate to be part of the Enid community. We appreciate the support from Enid and the surrounding areas and we really enjoy giving back to this community in meaningful ways. We also want to congratulate this year’s winner of Best Home Maintenance and Remodeling (Enid Tile & Marble) but suggest they not get too comfortable with that trophy!” Berdit joked.
The enthusiasm of each winning recipient highlighted the fun of Enid Monthly’s first annual Best of Enid Awards Show. Tickets were sold faster than seating could keep up, and the comradery among local business competitors showed Enid’s willingness to show up and support each other. There was only one “Best” winner per category, but on this night, every single person in the town of Enid was a winner. We all won, because not only do we have the best businesses, it takes the best people to come together and celebrate the victory of another, even if that meant your own defeat. The night was filled with spotlights on those with the most votes, but it was the nature in which everyone was thankful for each other that made the night the “Best.”
Link to Results: Best of Enid 2022 Results | Enid Monthly