Best of 417 2011: People

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Best Crafty Queens

Angela Shields and Janice Hawkins at Felicita Studios >>>
felicitastudios.com
From their DressUps (adding personal touches to used or inexpensive dresses and gowns to make them one-of-a-kind and super-fabulous) to their handmade accessories, the gals at Felicita Studios are crafty super-stars. They make fun and whimsical items that are adding unique touches to 417-land weddings, but you don’t have to be a bride-to-be to take advantage of their talents. They also make clothing and accessories for every-day or other special occasions, and they even host workshops (in everything from painting and interior design to jewelry making and floral arrangements)  during which they share their crafty skills.

Editors’ Pick: Best Young Super-Athlete

Dorial Green-Beckham
This kid plays football. He plays basketball. He runs track and field. And it’s not like he’s just dabbling in those three sports. He’s really, really good at all of them. So good, in fact, that he was named MaxPreps Male Athlete of the Year last year. That is no small feat for any high school athlete, but Dorial Green-Beckman was only a high school sophomore at the time, a rarity for a national award like Male Athlete of the Year. (Now, he’s a junior.) Needless to say, we’re excited to see what’s on the horizon for Hillcrest High School’s super-impressive athlete.

Editors’ Pick: Best Use of Local Talent

Winter’s Bone
We could have also called this “Best Hollywood Connection,” “Best Way to Get 417-Land on the Map” or “Best Film Adaptation of a Local Writer’s Work.” All of them apply. We’re just stoked about the awards this movie is raking in (see story p. 96 to read all about it) and the efforts the filmmakers made to give the movie a local feeling. The woods are southwest Missouri woods. Several of the actors are southwest Missouri talent. There are local musicians, local special effects artists, local crew members. This movie, which is based on Daniel Woodrell’s novel of the same name, is a great way to see familiar names and faces on the silver screen. But it’s also a genuinely fantastic film that’s not to be missed.

Best Branson Performers Who Your Teenagers are Stalking on Facebook

The Haygoods >>>
The New Americana Theatre, 2905 W. Hwy 76, Branson, 417-339-4663, thehaygoods.com
These siblings are the future of Branson. Every single one of them is adorable. They are genuinely talented. They put on a great show. But they’re also savvy and smart. One of the editors believes that everybody, teenagers or not, should be following Tim Haygood on Facebook. Seven brothers and one sister make up the über-talented, extremely charming Branson performers known as The Haygoods. The musical family got their start in Boerne, Texas, after a 5-year-old Timothy saw a famous violinist on Sesame Street and decided he wanted to take lessons. His siblings followed, and eventually, the kids were being home-schooled by their mom, and the family was traveling all over Texas every weekend. After moving to Branson in 1993, The Haygoods performed at Silver Dollar City for nine seasons. Today, the group (Timothy, 33; Patrick, 30; Dominic, 28; Shawn, 26; Michael, 25; Matthew, 23; Catherine, 19; and Aaron, 17) sings and plays a variety of instruments, including the fiddle, guitar, saxophone and piano, in their beyond-entertaining shows, which are performed in their very own theater on the strip, all year long.

Editors’ Pick: Best User of One’s Own Name

Nicola Gilardi
There’s Ristorante Gilardi’s. Ristorante Nicola’s. Gilardi pasta. Insalata Gilardi. This guy is getting some serious mileage out of his name. But we find that endearing. So far, everything he has put his name on has impressed the heck out of us. Ristorante Gilardi’s is charming like nothing else. The Gilardi pasta is the perfect delectable mixture of ricotta pasta, Italian sausage and a creamy tomato sauce. Ristorante Nicola’s is chic with a menu full of delicious items. And the insalata Gilardi is a perky salad with champagne vinaigrette and fresh mozzarella. He found a formula, and it worked.

More Readers' Choice Winners

Best Branson Entertainer
Shoji Tabuchi
Runners-Up:
Jim Stafford
Andy Williams

Best Solo Musician (Male)
Art Bentley
Runners-Up:
Lyal Strickland
Todd Osbern

Best Solo Musician (Female)

Candy Coburn
Runners-Up:
Cindy Woolf
Tiffany Christopher

Best Local Band
Members Only
Runners-Up:
Big Smith
Pearl Nation

Best TV News Personality (Male)
Joe Daues / KSPR 33
Runners-Up:
Ethan Forhetz / KY3
Steve Grant / KY3

Best TV News Personality (Female)
Lisa Rose / KY3
Runners-Up:
Maria Neider / KY3
Joy Robertson / KOLR10

Best Meteorologist
Brandon Beck / KY3
Runners-Up:
Ted Keller / KOLR10
Ron Hearst / KY3

Best Sportscaster
Ned Reynolds / KY3
Runners-Up:
Dan Lucy / KOLR10
Joe Hickman / KY3

Best Radio Personality or Team
Fotsch & McClain / Power 96.5
Runners-Up:
Woody & Janet / 105.9 KGBX
Kevin & Liz / Alice 95.5

Best Server
Keegan Pierce / Grant’s American Family Dining
Runners-Up:
Reid Roberts / Metropolitan Grill
Victoria Ross / Old Chicago

Best Bartender
Ashley Engel / Avanzare Italian Dining
Runners-Up:
Jim Carr / Red Room
Philip Thomas / Farmers Gastropub

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Wind down your weekend with yoga at Phelps Grove Park. Bring a yoga mat, a few dollars and some fellow yoga-lovers for some stretching, strengthening and de-stressing. All ages and experience levels are invited for an om-azing evening outdoors.

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