2 Congratulations to the BEST of Van Zandt County Welcome to Readers’ Choice 2021. After several months of preparation, voting and counting ballots, the 2021 Readers’ Choice Award winners are in and congratulations are certainly in order. This marks our ninth consecutive year for our Readers’ Choice contest, and we could not have been more pleased thanks to our readers who ultimately decided who was deserving of the title of “BEST” in Van Zandt County. Starting in late December 2020, we published Readers’ Choice Award ballots for four consecutive weeks in all three of our Van Zandt County newspapers: Canton Herald, Wills Point Chronicle and Van Zandt News . The ballots consisted of over 100 categories including places to shop, services, food and drink and people in our county. The response was overwhelming with over 700 print and digital ballots turned in by the Jan. 22 deadline. Readers were given an opportunity to submit one ballot per person and to vote for a minimum of 10 categories. Our goal was to make sure the contest was fair and managed in a way where ballots could be screened and validated. Random calls were placed to read- ers submitting ballots to ensure they were in fact the ones submitting the ballot. Duplicate ballots were taken out and all ballots throughout the counting process were checked for anything we felt would compromise the outcome of the contest. Special thanks to Friends of the Van Zandt County Library who spent many hours count- ing this years’ ballots. Their hard work and attention to making sure each ballot was accu- rately counted was greatly appreciated. Congratulations to all of our winners and we hope you will enjoy a full year of this great distinction as THE FAVORITE in Van Zandt County. Award winners will receive a certificate for display at their home or business and the right to use the READERS’ CHOICE logo. Thank you to all who participated. Brad Blakemore Brad Blakemore Publisher Van Zandt Newspapers, LLC Voted FAVORITE in Van Zandt County Special thanks to this year’s Reader’s Choice ballot counters Billie Jean Cole, Tonja Garten, Kitty White, Kelley Hopkins and with the Friends of the Van Zan- dt County Sarah Norman Library. This year we had over 700 paper and electronic ballots turned in and counted.Thank you for your hard work and attention to making sure this contest is fair and honest. Congratulations to our $100 Winner! Ricky Silver from Ben Wheeler is our big $100 win- ner in the 2021 Readers’ Choice ballot drawing. Ricky’s ballot was randomly drawn from over 700 ballots submitted by our readers.