February may be for lovebirds, but it’s also the perfect time to kick off our annual Best of the Pine Belt Award competition and show some love to all of our favorite people, places, and things.
Now in the contest’s 11th year, Signature Magazine has proudly partnered with FestivalSouth since the very beginning and this year’s contest is back bigger and better than ever with several noteworthy improvements to the wildly popular annual contest.
Earlier this year when I caught wind of rumors that local blues legend Tommy ‘T-Bone’ Pruitt was contemplating retirement, I knew I needed to spring into action.
For entirely selfish reasons, I wanted the opportunity to work with Pruitt while I still could – and perhaps more importantly – I just wanted to hang out with the guy.
At 86 years young, he has literally been playing the blues for three-quarters of a century. Harry Truman was in the White House when Tommy picked up his first guitar.
BEST AMBASSADOR OF THE AVENUES
Paul Sims • Hunter White • Bradley Myers • Jamers Iverson
BEST DOWNTOWN HATTIESBURG AMBASSADOR
Greg Prine • Harry Goff • Heath Kleinke • Keenon Walker
BEST LAUREL AMBASSADOR
Ben and Erin Napier
414 Front St, Laurel
Kenny and Carrie Mann • Christy Liverett • Chad Edwards
Crescent City Grill
3810 Hardy St, Hattiesburg
Cheese Rolls at Glory Bound Gyro Company • Debris Fries at Keg & Barrel • Fresh Rolls at Jutamas • Sully’s Sacks at Sully’s Tavern
BEST BAR AMBIENCE
103 South 30th Ave, Hattiesburg
Branch • Keg & Barrel • Front Street Bar • Mahogany Bar
BEST BARBER SHOP
JC Cook’s Barber Shop
5266 Old Highway 11 #80, Hattiesburg
The Barber Studio • Guild and Gentry • Squared Up
Brandon Herrington, Herrington Chriropractic
4700 Hardy St Ste M-1, Hattiesburg
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Desperate Times & Blind Eyes" by Midnight Revel
"The Sound" by Ty Trehern • "Fade" by Goth Dad • "Touro Street" by Brotha Josh and the Quickness • "A Feeling You Can't Get Back" by The Devil Music Co.
BEST LOCAL PODCAST
A Paranormal Chicks
Church of Tobey • District Sound Wave • Everything is OK! • To The Top Talk
BEST BURLESQUE PERFORMER
301 West Pine St, Hattiesburg
Lane Dossett • Robin Roberts • Shawn Lowrey • Tangi Carter
BEST AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR SHOP
Phillip’s Car Care
80 Rawls Springs Loop Rd, Hattiesburg
98 Tire • Warrior Tire & Service • Bedrock Customs & Auto Repair • Affordable Auto Care
Reunited… and it feels sooooo good
After a multi-month hiatus, the Food with Friends crew has finally teamed up once again to do what we do best – eat and chat. This month’s adventure brings us to Fairley’s Wings and More in Downtown Hattiesburg. We were excited to get the gang back together and enjoy a spread from the local wing joint. Jamie even showed up in his “I Am Fairley’s Wings” T-shirt that he got at the ribbon cutting when the business first opened its doors.
Chris Cook is a cut above the competition as his barber shop, JC Cook Barber Shop, sheared the competition for Best Barber Shop in 2019 Best of the Pine Belt voting.
Cook, 40, came by his profession honestly. As the shop’s Facebook page proudly proclaims, “the Cook name has been synonymous with barbering in the Pine Belt since the 1940s. I'm proud to carry on the family tradition in my shop since 2005.”
Who won? Who won? Who won for Best Garden Center? And what about Best Female Vocalist? Chicken fingers? Best Ice Cream?
I bet we all know who captured the Best Troublemaker title.
No matter who you were pulling for in this year’s Best of the Pine Belt competition, everyone is a winner, not just during this time each year, but year-round.