Sun Prairie business owners and employees, honored with the “Best of Sun Prairie” rallied behind one another Tuesday night to celebrate thriving in the pandemic.

More than 80 people came out for the Star’s 2021 Best of Sun Prairie award ceremony on Aug. 31 at Buck & Honey’s restaurant.

The highlight of the night was the “Best Citizens” award that went Sunshine Place volunteers for helping to feed, clothe, and provide resources to Sun Prairie area residents impacted this past year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crowd erupted in applause as Sunshine Place representatives came up to get their award.

“We couldn’t have done what we’ve done without community support,” said Julie Wiedmeyer, who thanked Sunshine Place volunteers for their hard work.

Buck & Honey’s Sun Prairie swept up 12 awards at the ceremony including Best Restaurant, with voters ranking it No. 1 in appetizers, salad, lunch, dinner, fish fry, bartending and wait staff, outdoor dining, live music and more.

The restaurant industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and mask mandates, but customers showed their love for Buck & Honey’s.

“This past year has not been easy for any of us, so thank you all for community support and love,” said Stephanie Martin, as she accepted the Buck & Honey’s awards.

Sun Prairie Star sponsors the annual Best of Sun Prairie contest with the community voting for first, second and third place winners. The Star gave out 83 Best of Sun Prairie awards Tuesday night.

Competition is strong as the City of Sun Prairie attracts new businesses and customers each year. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses opened, including Flavors! Wine Bar, Sugar River Pizza and Crumbl Cookies, that won the best new business category.

Voters also honored local business owners and franchise for great customer service and commitment to the Sun Prairie community.

Sun Prairie attorney Tom Hebl, who usually wins the “Best of SP” honor, graciously accepted the top attorney award on behalf of his brother, Tom Hebl. Joking aside, Hebl called the crowd “at the top of their game” and challenged business owners to continue to keep up their high standards.

“Nobody can stand up here and say they did anything by themselves,” Hebl said. “All of us have received help and been supported by great staff.”

He encouraged the winners to keep up the good work.

“We all look out for one another and try to give customers the best service,” Hebl said. “Sun Prairie is known for quality service and quality work and I think that is what’s important and we continue to carry on.”

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