Readers make their 2020 ‘Best of’ choicesFree Access



With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, our annual “Readers’ Choice Awards,” has been delayed.

Until now.

“We know everybody has had a lot on their minds, not to mention having to cope with everything from the pandemic to children not being in school,” said Nicole W. Little, publisher of the Mariposa Gazette. “But we also know some normalcy is needed so we have decided to move forward with this community contest.”

Little said with everything happening, the staff figured the time was right to announce the winners, which is annually one of the most anticipated contests of the year in the county.

Some new faces are featured this year in our annual “Readers’ Choice Awards,” where newspaper readers vote for their “best of ” in Mariposa County.

This is the fourth year the awards have featured a “Mr. Mariposa County” and “Ms. Mariposa County.”

And for the fourth year, there are new faces in that category.

Randy Brower of Randy Brower Construction was voted “Mr. Mariposa County” and Jenni Kiser, owner of Mountain Fitness, was given the nod as “Ms. Mariposa County.”

In the “Best Community Volunteer” category, the winner in the male category was Bill Lowe, who has made several films as well as spearheaded the resurgence of the Mariposa Butterfly Festival.

In the female category, the winner was Kris Casto, who volunteers with many local organizations, helps with blood drives, coordinates the highway cleanup and much more.

An always popular category is “Best Elected Official,” and this year Mariposa County Superior Court Judge Michael Fagalde was selected by the voters.

Another big winner this year was High Country Health Foods & Cafe, which took home first place in three categories: Best Lunch, Best Sandwich and Best Soup.

A repeat triple winner this year was Yosemite National Park, which was named by our readers as “Best Local Attraction,” “Best Place to Hike” and the end of the “Best Scenic Drive” which is the Merced River canyon to the park.

Another triple winner was 1850, which won in the categories of “Best Burger,” “Best French Fries” and “Best Salad.”

Pioneer Market also had three top selections: “Best Florist,” “Best Fried Chicken” and “Best Economical Dining.”

Two local athletes were also honored by our readers. JC Davies was voted the “Best Student Athlete-Male” while Skylee Butler was honored with “Best Student Athlete-Female.”

Academically, the “Best Female Student” award was Mackenzie Arnold while Davis Bryant was named the “Best Male Student.” All of the students and athletes attend Mariposa County High School.

“We can’t thank our loyal readers enough for participating in this contest, which we think is a fun way to recognize members of our community,” said Little.

Each winner will be given a framed certificate of recognition for being voted the best in the category.

Here is a complete list of all the winners:

• Mr. Mariposa County — Randy Brower

• Ms. Mariposa County — Jenni Kiser

• Best Community Volunteer, male — Bill Lowe

• Best Community Volunteer, female — Kris Casto

• Best Service Club — Mariposa Lions Club

• Best Elected Official — Judge Michael Fagalde

• Best Mariposa County Employee — Mike Healy

• Best Sheriff’s Office Deputy — Chris Ramirez

• Best California Highway Patrol Officer — Adrian Perez

• Best Firefighter — Jonathan Beery

• Best Religious Leader — Father Michael Cox

• Best Church — St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

• Best Scenic Drive — Highway 140 to Yosemite National Park

• Best Place to Hike — Yosemite National Park

• Best Local Attraction — Yosemite National Park

• Best Children’s Birthday Place — Pizza Factory

• Best Local Musical Group — The Trespassers

• Best Local Annual Event — Mariposa County Fair

• Best Non-Profit Fundraiser — FFA Dinner and Auction

• Best Hotel/Motel/Lodging — Mariposa Lodge

• Best Local Art Gallery — Tree Top Gallery

• Best Local Artist — Penny Otwell

• Best Local Photographer — Patrick Pike

• Best Pharmacy — Rite Aid

• Best Attorney — Anita Starchman-Bryant

• Best Auto Service/Repair — Brand Automotive

• Best Tire Shop — Lou’s Speedy Lube

• Best Gas Station — Grizzly Gas

• Best Bank/Credit Union — Yosemite Bank

• Best Bank Teller — Jagoda Racina

• Best Chiropractor — Lisa Carisio

• Best Dentist — Dr. Tim Wieg

• Best Doctor — Dr. Mimi Carter

• Best Medical Clinic — Fremont Family Physicians

• Best Counseling Service — Quest Counseling

• Best Therapist/Counselor — Amy Harper

• Best Tree Service — D’s Trees

• Best Electrician — Hambelton Electric

• Best Feed Store — Mariposa Feed

• Best Hardware Store — Foster Ace Hardware

• Best Insurance Agency — State Farm Insurance

• Best Lumber Yard — H&L Lumber

• Best Contractor — Randy Brower Construction

• Best Nursery/Garden Store — Creekside Nursery

• Best Gift Shop — Chocolate Soup

• Best Clothing Shop — Fremont House

• Best Thrift Store — Set Free

• Best Beauty Salon — Trent’s Styling for His and Hers

• Best Hairstylist — Lindsay Patterson

• Best Nail Technician — Lindsey Williams

• Best Facial — Jessica Roberson

• Best Massage Therapist — Jeanine Solis

• Best Florist — Pioneer Market

• Best Pet Groomer — Dog Grooming By Tess

• Best Fitness Club — Mountain Fitness

• Best Fitness Trainer — Tracy Jay

• Best Painter — Pierce Chaney Painting

• Best Pest Control Company — Mariposa Termite

• Best Heating and Air — AJV Heating & Cooling

• Best Solar Power Contractor — Offline Solar

• Best Plumbing Company — Jim Allen Plumbing

• Best Pump Company — Yosemite Falls Well Drilling

• Best Real Estate Agent — Mia Gloor

• Best Real Estate Company — Twiss Realty

• Best Tow Truck Company — Ponderosa Towing

• Best Veterinarian — Dr. Greg Ritter

• Best Well Driller — Yosemite Falls Well Drilling

• Best Pre-School/Daycare — Mariposa Preschool Co-op

• Best School — Mariposa Elementary School

• Best Teacher — (Tie) Keith and Jennifer Trump

• Best Coach — Adam Finney

• Best Student Athlete/Male — JC Davies

• Best Student Athlete/Female — Skylee Butler

• Best Student Academics/ Male — Davis Bryant

• Best Student Academics/ Female — Mackenzie Arnold

• Best Restaurant — Charles Street Dinner House

• Best Breakfast — Steve’s Sportsmans Cafe

• Best Lunch — High Country Health Foods & Cafe

• Best Restaurant for Kids/ Family — Pizza Factory

• Best Economical Dining — Pioneer Market

• Best Romantic Dinner — Savoury’s Restaurant

• Best Food Truck — Tacos Sonora

• Best Taco — Castillos

• Best Burger — 1850 Restaurant

• Best French Fries — 1850 Restaurant

• Best Sandwich — High Country Health Foods & Cafe

• Best Fried Chicken — Pioneer Market

• Best Salad — 1850

• Best Soup — High Country Health Foods & Cafe

• Best Catering — BB’s Catering

• Best Coffee — Pony Expresso

• Best Local Wine — Casto Oaks

• Best Bar — The Hideout

• Best Dessert — Jantz Bakery

• Best Ice Cream — Rite Aid

• Best Cookie — Jantz Bakery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.