“The Greatest Show in Texoma” is setting itself up to be even bigger in 2020 than it was in 2019. Texoma Marketing and Media Group has announced that the venue for this year's Best of Texoma gala has changed in order to accommodate the growing awards ceremony.

This year's gala will be held on May 2 at the The historic Woodlawn Country Club that has been chosen as the 2020 host venue.

“Our community deserves only the best” said TMMG publisher Nate Rodriguez “Our business community works hard 364 days out of the year, and gives tirelessly back to our community, and they are deserving of one night to be celebrated.”

Guests will experience a one-of-a-kind, high-energy and exciting celebration that will include dinner and awards ceremony under a beautifully constructed, decorated and cooled, temporary event structure that is being designed just for this event.

Since the event has outgrown any available event spaces in Texoma, the venue change was necessary, Rodriguez said.

TMMG will also be welcoming the current Miss Texas as the honored guest and presenter.

“I am looking forward to participating in the 'Best of Texoma awards program' and honoring the spirit of the communities that the Herald Democrat has served for generations,” said Miss Texas 2019 Chandler Foreman in an emailed statement.

In advance of the voting for this year's event, Foreman also sent congratulations to all the individuals and businesses that will be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments.

Along with the venue change for the gala, this year's Best of Texoma awards has grown to include 57 new categories bringing the total number to 214. The new categories this year include eight categories in food and drinks, four related to entertainment, four related to financial and real estate, three in medical, 18 in services, two in work and lifestyle, and 17 in shopping and commerce.

In 2019, more than 280,000 votes were cast for area businesses, and TMMG expects to top that count for this year's participation.

“Best of Texoma is a recognition program, which includes the Best of Texoma Magazine and the Best of Texoma Gala. The magazine and event are the largest published magazine and event in all of Texoma” said Rodriguez. “Providing an outlet that allows for our community a voice to tell the world about the great businesses that represent Texoma community, is not taken lightly.”

The voting process is managed by the Herald Democrat Editorial Department which provides oversight using the ethics of journalism.

“The Best of Texoma program funds our mission of local journalism in our thriving and growing community,” TMMG Senior Group Publisher Nate Rodriguez said last week. “We ask that you show your support for your favorite business by voting for them. Your vote is a positive review of these businesses.”

Voting begins on Feb. 4, and during this period, individuals will be able to nominate the area businesses and individuals who they feel represent the best of the best in each category. Nomination voting ends on Feb. 13.

In the same manner as 2019, the second round of voting will be held for the categories where a clear top three winner cannot be determined. From Feb. 18-20, individuals can vote for area businesses and individuals within these categories. This will allow the final ballot to have a top three winner in every category where there are more than two businesses represented.

The final round of voting will be held from March 10-20. During this time, individuals will be voting for the top three winners in each category. The first place winner will be announced on May 2 at the awards gala at the Historic Woodlawn Country Club in Sherman.

Paper ballots will be printed four times throughout the first round of voting and will be accepted via mail only and with a maximum of two ballots per envelope. The first print ballot will publish in the Herald Democrat on Feb. 5 and again on the 9, 11 and 13, The Bryan County news on Feb. 5 and the Van Alstyne Leader on Feb. 7.

Online voting will be open for all three rounds at http://www.bestoftexoma.com, with a maximum of one vote per device per day per IP address. Votes that do not follow the guidelines will be deemed invalid and will result in the disqualification of all votes by that device or email address. Last year this resulted in over 60,000 votes that were disqualified.