Best of Texoma is on a roll.

Less than a week after the start of nominations in this year's 177 categories, more Texoma supporters have submitted votes than in any previous year at this time. More than 27,000 nominations had been cast of Saturday.

“We appreciate the community telling us what it wants to see in each Best of Texoma category in record numbers for nominations,” Executive Editor Adrian O'Hanlon III said. “Participation from the community is what drives Best of Texoma and the results of the voting process will show what people think is the best in our area.”

Leading categories early on include 97 nominations for Best Mexican Restaurant in the Eat & Drink sections, 99 nominations for Best General Practitioner in the Medical section and in Work & Leisure, 98 nominations for Best Elementary Teacher. The Real Estate Agent group (Financial & Real Estate) has 74 votes, and there are 89 nominations for Best Hair Stylists in the Services division, 48 for Gas Stations (Shopping & Commerce), and 46 nominations for the Best Local Festival under Entertainment.

This year's big jump in participation by Texoma readers in the nominating process underlines the importance and significance the public and local businesses place of this broad based survey of local public tastes. There have also been a greater number of inquiries from readers and businesses asking how they can play a part in all aspects of Best of Texoma. This is most encouraging, and again reinforces the public's interest and participation in the process that, end the end, provides the profile of what Texoma likes best about the community.

The nominating process runs through Sunday, Feb. 10, so there is still plenty of time to support you favorites with a nomination and to urge others to do the same. Nominations can be made by use of the paper, mail-in ballots, which appear in the Herald Democrat or more easily, on-line at Everyone submitting nominations in 25 or more different categories will be entered in Sweepstakes drawing to win $200.

At the close of nominations on Feb. 10, the top three vote getters will advance to the second round of Web based voting to determine the top spot in each category. Winners will be announced at the Best of Texoma Gala Banquet and Reception on Saturday, April 27 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Last year more than 700 people attended the event.

So do not miss the chance to make your preferences known. Join in the nominating process from now until Feb. 10, and vote in the final run off.

Online Voters may submit One (1) Ballot per IP or email address per day. If votes cast do not follow guidelines, they will be deemed invalid and will result in all votes by said IP or Email address to be disqualified for the duration of the 2019 cycle. Paper ballot Voters may submit a total of four (4) Ballots during the Contest Period. Paper ballots and online NOMINATION ballots must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT Feb. 10. Online Ballots for TOP 3 VOTING must be received by 11:59 p.m. CT on March 29 in order to be eligible (the “Ballot Deadline”). No Ballots will be accepted after this time.