The 2019 Best of the Red Rock Area awards were announced Jan. 30.
The contest is held annually by the Marion County Development Commission to honor the best in local tourism and business. Visitors and residents can vote on-line at redrockarea.com from early April until the end of October. The contest includes four top ten lists as well as 55 category winners.
Top 10 Winners
Top 10 Under 40: Jason Bingham, Pella Corporation, city of Pleasantville, Bingham Cooperative; Tyler Christian, Marion County Engineer; Brent Gaulke, Marion County Bank; Dan Huitink, Vermeer Corporation; Mary Mansfield, Home Realty; Josie McKay, Treasured Portraits, Summit Realty, Self-Random Tees; Tyler Pearson, Knoxville Community Schools; Cathy Struecker, Cairn Yoga & Wellness Studio; Hannah Vander Veer, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce; and Kris Van Gent, Iowa Bike Company.
Top 10 Events: Pella Tulip Time Festival (May), Thursdays in Pella (summer), Pleasantville Pigout (June), Lake Red Rock Balloonfest (July), Knoxville Sprint Car Nationals (August), Pierce’s Pumpkin Patch (October), Pella Wine Walk (October), Knoxville Living Windows (November), Pella Christmas Tour of Homes (December), and Union Street Players productions (year-round).
Top 10 After 5: A&P Pub, Cellar Peanut Pub, The Grand Theatre, Knoxville Raceway, Kone Korner, Liberty Street Kitchen, Peace Tree Brewing, One Eleven Public House, Smokey Row Coffee House and The Wijn House.
Top 10 Dining: George’s Pizza & Steakhouse, Baggio’s Italian Restaurant, Cantarito’s Grill & Cantina, Checkerboard Rest, Deng’s Garden, Kone Korner, Liberty Street Kitchen, One Eleven Public House, Opa’s Deli at Int’ Veld’s and Yamato Steak House.
Top 10 Shopping: The Sanctuary, Best of Thymes, Candi’s Flowers & Gifts, Elite Boutique, Embellish, Funky Zebra, Silver Lining, Simple Treasures, Thistles Flower Market and Theisen’s.
Food: Best Salad – Applebee’s; Best Appetizer – Checkerboard; Best Pizza – George’s Pizza & Steakhouse; Best Coffee – Coffee Connection; Best Ethnic Food – Deng’s Garden; Best Steak – George’s Pizza & Steakhouse; Best Burger – Culver’s; Best Tenderloin – Hometown Meats and Deli; Best Breakfast – Windmill Café; Best Dessert – Jaarsma Bakery; Best Family Restaurant – George’s Pizza & Steakhouse; Best Outdoor Eating – Kone Korner; and Best Entree with Local Ingredients – Opa’s Deli.
Social: Best Happy Hour – Cellar Peanut Pub; Best Caterer – Central College; Best Date Night – One Eleven Public House; Best Bar – Cellar Peanut Pub; Best Family Reunion – Cordova Park Pavilion; Best Meeting Venue – Central College; and Best Wedding Reception – Sun Valley Barn.
Lodging: Best Campground – Howell Station; Best Hotel – Cobblestone Hotel & Suites; and Best B&B or Cabin – Cordova Park Cabins.
Shopping: Best Antique Shop – Simple Treasures; Best Women’s Shop – Funky Zebras; Best Thrift Store – The Well; Best Gift Shop – Candy’s Flowers & Gifts; Best Shop for Fresh Meat – Int’Velds Meat Market; Best Place to Purchase Locally Made Items – Jaarsma Bakery; Best Place to Shop After 5 p.m. – Maurice’s; Best Men’s Shop – Theisen’s; Best Kids Shop – Silver Lining; Best Garden Center or Nursery – Nick’s Greenhouse; Best Pet Care – Faux Paws Bakery; Best Graphic Design, Printing, or Photoshop – Ramaeker Screen Printing; and Best Floral, Craft, or Decor – Thistles.
Entertainment: Best Live Entertainment – Knoxville Performing Arts Center; Best Historical Experience – Pella Historical Village; Best Indoor Recreation – Knoxville Rec Center; Best Outdoor Recreation – Pella Aquatic Center; and Best Hidden Treasure – Pierce’s Pumpkin Patch.
Best Public Art: Scholte House Gardens and Sculptures
Best Place to Entertain Kids: Pella Aquatic Center
Community: Best Hospitality – Knoxville Hospital and Clinics; Best Real Estate or Construction – Home Realty; Best Bank, Finance, or Legal Services – Marion County Bank; Best Auto or Auto Repair – Raceway Tire and Exhaust; Best Spa, Salon, or Barbershop – Expressions by Design; Best Source for Local News – KNIA/KRLS; Best Place to Work with Less Than 50 Employees – Marion County Bank; Best Place to Work 50 to 200 Employees – Knoxville Hospital and Clinics; Best Place to Work More Than 200 Employees – Vermeer Corporation; Best Business Supporter with Less Than 50 Employees – Marion County Bank; Best Business Supporter with 50 to 200 Employees – Knoxville Hy-Vee; and Best Business Supporter with over 200 Employees – Vermeer Corporation.