“You never expect to win,” said Marathon Councilman Mark Senmartin, pictured second from right after he won “Best Elected Official.” His 2019 win was the second for the councilman. He sat at a table that received a healthy pile of awards, pictured from left: Elise Mucha of Brutus Seafood (Best Lunch), Joanna and Frank Varello of Frank’s Grill (Best Ethnic Food), Lily Senmartin and Beatrice Sierra of Isla Bella (Best Place to Have a Wedding).

The historical significance and cultural impact of the Best of Marathon cannot be overstated and starting Friday, Aug.13 the nomination process begins for the 2021 people’s choice awards. 

Since 2008, the celebration of Marathon’s best and brightest has raised tens of thousands of dollars for local charities while cementing some of the town’s most notable establishments and personalities firmly into the pantheon of Marathon folklore. 

This year’s voting process takes on a special meaning as our community emerges from the pandemic stronger than ever — a true testament to the resolve of Marathon’s citizenry that always triumphs adversity only to come back stronger than ever. 

Get online and nominate your favorites. Tell your friends and neighbors and let’s showcase what makes the Marathon community such a wonderful place to call home.

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Jason Koler, born in Florida and raised in Ohio, is the “better looking and way smarter” Keys Weekly publisher. When not chasing his children or rubbing his wife’s feet, he enjoys folding laundry and performing experimental live publishing.