Welcome to Boomtown, USA!
― Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”
Last year, our Best of Central Oregon theme was “Rising from the Ashes.”
This year, it’s a new era, and it seems the phoenix has risen, indeed. This year’s theme is “Boomtown,” described in the Britannica Dictionary as “a town that experiences a sudden growth in business and population: a booming town.” If you’ve been feeling that “boomtown” vibe this summer, you wouldn’t be alone.
You might feel it by the numbers of people you have to wade through to visit a shop downtown.
You might feel it in the lines outside your favorite food cart.
You might also feel it in the housing prices or traffic.
But those are just part of the story.
As we put out this next edition of the Best of Central Oregon, we’re aiming to focus on the “best of times” that come from being a Boomtown. There are more people, yes—but that also means a proliferation of new ideas, fresh perspectives… more artists, more makers, more change-makers, more diversity… and we could go on. Thanks to Bend’s “Zoomtown” status, more people than ever can make Bend their home, all while staying connected to towns and businesses all over the world.
Most of the year, we splash plenty of ink in these pages talking about the things that need improving and the ways Central Oregon can grow into the best version of itself. We’ll do that again, over and over—but for now, let’s have a little fun reveling in the wins for the many businesses that make our Boomtown so great.
Cheers to all the winners!
Who votes? Thousands of people vote in close to 200 categories in our poll.
New categories! This year, like most years, we’re adding new categories while retiring a few others. Among the new ones: Best Breakfast Sandwich, Best Eggs Benedict, Best Mac n’ Cheese, and more specialty categories for Redmond, Sisters and Sunriver.
Let’s party! The Source Weekly is turning 25 this summer, and to celebrate that AND the Best Of winners, we’re throwing a party! Join us for a free event Wed., Aug. 10 from 6:30 to 9pm (winners are invited earlier for a special fete for their accomplishments). Join us at the Deschutes Historical Museum for free music and live entertainment!