Best of 417 2009

Our annual rundown of your very favorite people, places, foods and things about living in 417-land.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

The following pages are full of the greatest, best, most wonderful people and things in 417-land. They are the bright spots in your own Game of Life—the inspiration for the photos you see here—and they were chosen for this issue by you.

Last September and October, readers voted on and on paper ballots filled out by hand to let us know who they thought was deserving in 100 Best of 417 Awards categories. And, to show some love for great stuff that defies categorization, our staff also chose 11 Editor’s Picks. Altogether, that’s 111 reasons (plus a bunch of runners up) for loving this place we all call home. And because the winners are a reflection of your votes, this issue can help you see the changing trends (and faithful old favorites) in our region.

This is one of our biggest issues of the year and a reader favorite, which is why we put a lot of time and effort into making it fun for you to look at. Art director and editorial designer Cassie Darst and Bethany Lohmeyer put their heads together with style coordinator Nicole Fuller to come up with the Game of Life theme that runs through this story. Bethany spent countless hours carefully molding some of 417-land’s recognizable buildings for the game board. Photographer Paul Speed meticulously shot each board game photo in his Ozark studio. And photographer Kevin O’Riley went all over 417-land to get pictures of many of the winners.

So read on, and we hope you enjoy discovering your Best of 417 Awards winners. Next stop: Go play your own game of 417-land life, take advantage of all the winners have to offer and discover new gems to vote for next year.­—The Editors

Click here to read past Best of 417 lists, and relive history!

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