Best of the Pinebelt

*** Voting for 2019 Best of the Pine Belt has officially ended

FestivalSouth and Signature Magazine’s Best of the Pine Belt competition returns with a new schedule and some new categories to help recognize the area’s best and brightest. Nominations in all categories begin Monday, Jan. 14 and runs for three weeks until the evening of Sunday, Feb. 3.

To nominate your favorites, simply log on to and click on the Best of the Pine Belt. There, follow the link to choose a category and nominate your favorites.

“The nomination process is crucial to the overall success of the competition,” said David Gustafson, publisher of Signature Magazine and The PineBeltNEWS. “The individuals and businesses who receive the most nominations will advance as finalists when voting begins next month.”

Last year, more than 634,000 votes created a guide to the Pine Belt’s favorite people, places and things that make the area great. Once again, the complete list of “best” will be featured in the festival program that encompasses the June edition of Signature Magazine.

This year’s finalists will be announced during a special Facebook Live event scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4 and voting will officially begin on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 continuing through April 30.

This year’s Best of the Pine Belt weekend begins with a downtown pub crawl on Friday, May 31 and continues with the BOPB Hall of Fame Dinner on Saturday, June 1 followed immediately by the annual Best of the Pine Belt Award Show at the historic Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg.

Plans for a new BOPB Sunday morning gospel brunch are currently being formulated to help cap off the weekend.

The Best of the Pine Belt Awards Show is a gala, red-carpet evening that is one of the highlights of FestivalSouth. This year’s award show is scheduled for Saturday, June 1, at the historic Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg. Featuring special guests, awards presentations, live music and more, it is one of the hottest tickets of the festival.

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This project is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part,
from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.