Best of the Northwest

While last January seemed as though it would drag on for eternity, the first month of 2019 has gone by in a flash—with little more than a turned page on the calendar to mark its passing. While many of you may be preparing to celebrate the romance of Valentine’s Day, we have a bit of a different celebration in store.

It’s nearly the end of Best of the Northwest voting!

For those of you who may have missed the contest up until now, here’s a rundown of what’s been going on for the past few weeks: Every year, the Explorer, Marana News and Foothills News host a spectacular competition highlighting the region’s most impressive (and popular) businesses and community members: Restaurants, bookstores, first responders, vet clinics, movie theaters and just about everything else you can think of.

Last year was my first time running the show, and I was blown away by just how many people submitted votes. I began this year’s contest with a challenge to our readers to outdo our previous 4,200 vote tally before the polls close on Sunday, Feb. 17.

Good news, everyone—we’ve already surpassed that goal, with a week and a half left to go!

While a huge “Thank you” is owed to everyone who has thus far submitted their entries into Best of the Northwest, let’s make sure we keep the momentum alive all the way through the nomination window.  While we may not double last year’s total, we’re giving it an honest try.

To participate, just head to and click on the “Best of the Northwest” tab on our banner. There won’t be nominees from which to choose, but that’s where you come in. Submit businesses under one of the many categories, and submit as many as you’d like. As a reminder, we do have a new rule this year: Businesses can only win in one category. (That will be the category they get the most votes in; should they come out on top in multiple categories, the second-place finisher will take the top spot.)

Remember, nominations close Feb. 17. The winners and runners-up will be compiled into a list and on your doorstep in our March 20 edition.

While we here at Tucson Local Media are working to recognize the various businesses that make Tucson’s north side such a great place to live, the Town of Marana is hosting its own awards—and they’re also looking for nominations.

Marana is now accepting nominations for the Youth Legacy Award and Branding Iron Awards, presented to “distinguished residents and businesses for their service in the community.”

The Youth Legacy Award acknowledges the young people who are a part of the town, and recipients of the award promote a healthy and supportive environment for youth, fulfill essential needs (food, shelter and safety) or create educational opportunities for young learners.

The Branding Irons are bestowed upon members of the Marana community who’ve left a mark of their own in the region. Past recipients include former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, former Marana Mayor Ora Mae Harn, Wheeler and Charlene Abbett and Sargent Aerospace & Defense.

Branding Irons are handed out in both individual and organization categories.

For more information on either of the town’s awards, or to nominate someone you believe worthy of the recognition, head online to

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