From the Editor

By Jennifer Naylor Gesick

In the newspaper business, we call them “the daily miracle.”

I wholeheartedly believe monthly magazines deserve the same distinction — especially this issue.
It’s one of my favorites of the entire year, but it’s also a lot of work. And a month is shorter than you might think.

For this special dual anniversary issue (20 Years of Best of Waco and 15 years of Reasons to Love Waco), we’ve counted and recounted hundreds of votes, combed through 15 years of photos and nearly 750 different pieces of writing.

But you are now holding the fruits of our labor in your hands with some of the best stories and photos we’ve ever featured. To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than picturing that while composing this letter, putting final touches on our pages and preparing it for print for you all to enjoy.

For 15 years, we’ve asked our writers, staff and sometimes our readers to send in what they love about living in Waco. Even as a native Wacoan, I always learn about some new person or place or dish I need to go check out. We’ve curated some of our favorites from over the years (as many as we could fit on the pages, at least). Get inspired to explore with our favorite secret spots, tasty treats and extraordinary people that help make our city special over on page 94.

As we were prepping that feature, we fell in love all over again with our very first list. It was so fun to read that we’d like to share it with you in all of its original glory. Take a trip down memory lane with us on page 128.

This is also a very special 20-year edition of our Best of Waco Survey for products, services and professionals. Celebrate the winners with us over on page 112. See who won for the first time and who held on to their title in categories from doctors to lawyers to wedding planners and hairstylists.

Our cover photo shoot was the first major attempt at such a thing since COVID hit, and we thank Jennifer Pisarcik, the ladies at Courtney’s Boutique (our Best of Waco Clothing Boutique honoree for the sixth straight year), our model Addison, hair and makeup artist Courtney Yarbrough and our whole team knocked it out of the park!

Join us as we celebrate all things Waco. I could not be more excited for you to flip through these pages. The things that have come together and worked in harmony to create them truly feels like a small miracle.

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