Best in Vermont?

Kirsten Connor and Flourish are on the list

Seven Days, the Burlington VT-based alternative weekly, has just opened voting to choose its 2018 “Best of Vermont” winners. And, well, if you live in the Upper Valley, it’s hard not to feel a little dissed by the cool kids.

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Glance through the nominees for “Best local theater company,” for instance, and you won’t find Northern Stage or JAG Productions. Or check out “Best craft brewery.” Where in the name of all that is decent is River Roost?

In fact, the 209 categories (everything from “Best place to get body art” to — honest — “Best place to get a CBD drink”) are chock full of Burlington-area nominees. You’ll find only a handful of Upper Valley institutions vying to become "Seven Daysies" winners.

Before we get too outraged about this, though, it’s not like Seven Days sends its staffers out to scour the Green Mountain State for the best of the best to nominate. No, it depends on businesses, organizations and readers to — in its own words —  “Campaign, campaign, campaign!”

That’s how Flourish, which makes and sells natural health-and-beauty products in White River Junction, made it onto the list. “I haunted people to nominate me,” says Kirsten Connor, the store’s owner and chief alchemist.

However they got there, a handful of Upper Valley nominees are now in the running for best in Vermont. So whatever you think of “citizen’s choice awards” or of nominating processes that are basically about who’s got the most friends, all of a sudden there are home-region bragging rights at stake, by gum! If you want to flex some UV muscle, you might consider heading over to the Seven Days site and checking them out. You’ve got until Monday, June 25, at 5 pm to vote. Here are the locals, with the categories they’re nominated in:

Woodstock Inn — Best resort spa

Flourish Beauty Lab — Best beauty-product purveyor

Ellis Music, Vermont Violins (sure, our local version is technically in New Hampshire, but it still has “Vermont” in its name) — Best musical instrument store

Montshire Museum — Best museum; Best Vermont day trip with kids

Woodstock (yes, the entire town) — Best in-state weekend getaway

Trail Break Taps + Tacos — Best new restaurant; Best family restaurant (Outside Chittenden County); Best nachos (OCC); Best taco (OCC); Best draft beer list

Covered Bridges Half Marathon — Best foot race

Norwich Farmers Market — Best farmers market

Worthy Burger — Best burger (OCC)

Oh, and hey: If you see anything we missed, please let us know in the comments section and we’ll add it.

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