My Picks for Best of the Triad

Logo for Triad's Best 2019

Logo for Triad's Best 2019
Since this week’s issue of Yes! Weekly is the annual Triad’s Best issue, Charles Womack, the publisher, asked me to add my two cents worth to the festivities. Here, in no particular order, are some of my picks for Triad’s Best, according to categories that often go overlooked:

Best Distillery: Old Nick Williams, where cousins Zeb and Matt Williams make Carolina Bourbon Whisley at the same farm in Lewisville as did their ancestor Joseph Williams back in 1768. The distillery was forced to shut down during Prohibition, but the Williams boys revived the operation several years ago. They have also preserved some interesting historic artifacts which are on display in the gift shop.

Best Garden: Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, located in historic downtown Kernersville, actually has 7 different gardens, including a tulip garden and a kitchen garden. Staff horticulturists conduct tours and offer planting tips year round. The garden has also become a popular site for weddings and receptions.

Best Sports Complex: Proehlific Park in Greensboro offers a wide variety of indoor athletic facilities in its 86,000 square foot complex, plus a number of outdoor sports in its 22-acre park. But it is also headquarters to Ricky and Kelly Proehl’s P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation which offers young people a structured environment for growing their minds and bodies. The Foundation will also soon start constructing the area’s first all-inclusive playground for kids of all ability levels.

Best Bakery: Winkler Bakery, the oldest continually operating bakery in America, has been baking cookies, bread and sugar cakes in Old Salem since George Washington’s day, and in the same oven. I dare you to try to make it home with a hot loaf of bread without sneaking a taste on the way. Bakery staff is dressed in authentic colonial garb, or at least I think that’s who I gave my credit card to.

Best Stretch of I-40: NONE. If you have to commute between Winston-Salem and Greensboro, it’s probably best if you charter an airplane. Speaking of which…

Best Directional Signage on the Way to PTI: NONE. It’s so confusing that I once ended up in Galax, which, by the way, doesn’t offer flights to Tampa.

Best Live Performance Theatre: High Point Theatre gets high marks for offering up a diverse selection of concerts and events, season after season. One week there’s a military band, the next, a country music singer or hip hop group. You might see TV and movie stars one night, and a local talent competition the next. Kudos to my friend Dave Briggs for booking something for everyone.

Best Movie Theatre: Although the Carolina Theatre in downtown Greensboro offers live concerts and lectures, it’s also the best place to see classic films come alive on a big screen for the first time in generations. Historic films like Frankenstein deserve to be shown in an historic theatre. It’s better than blu-ray.

Best Community Haunt: Woods of Terror is widely recognized as one of America’s best haunts, but owner Eddie McLaurin also offers seasonal events, like Easter egg hunts and a breath-taking Christmas light show. And, during the Halloween season, Eddie regularly offers up free thrills to special needs kids, while providing employment for hundreds of actors. All that from a guy with a giant boa constrictor wrapped around his neck.

Best Science Fair: This category goes to UNCG for its annual “Science Everywhere” event, where students and faculty get kids and parents excited about science. The event features campus-wide displays, demonstrations, and family activities.

Best Public Relations Agency: Pam Cook Communications. Why? Because Pam uses her TV news background to help non-profit organizations advance their mission of service to others. Also, because she’s my wife, and I had to mention her because I don’t feel safe at home.

One last thing. For the past 10 years I’ve tried to get our communist publisher to create a category for “Best Locally Produced Public Affairs Television Program”, but he refuses because he says that Triad Today would be the only entry, since it’s the only locally produced public affairs television program in the Triad. I think that’s a lame excuse, so I’m going to move to Galax and write for their paper.

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