2012 best of WNC winners!

It is said that legends are born, not made. But if a legend lives in the mountains and no one sees it, does it get its picture taken? Without recognition, a legend is just an untold story, a fable. As with the myth of the sculptor Pygmalion and the statue Galatea, the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, or the okra in your garden, only love makes it real.

The same is so for the annual Best of WNC poll. Read on for local love made real, brought to life through the hard work and community presence of the winners, your votes and another local legend: the ever-smiling, nattily dressed harbinger of all-things Best of WNC — the Wampus Cat.

In Issue One, Wampus sallied and sauntered among the region’s top-shelf restaurants, bars, retail stores and more. Now that he has settled in, he can ramble and gambol with Asheville’s cultural treasures, peculiarities, practitioners and media favorites. He even ventures to the outskirts of town for a prance among regional favorites, from Black Mountain to Hendersonville and beyond.

Writers: Jaye Bartell, Caitlin Byrd, David Forbes, Jon Elliston, Jake Frankel, Anne Fitten Glenn, Alli Marshall, Jen Nathan Orris, Emily Patrick, Kyle Sherard, Dane Smith, Rebecca Sulock, Margaret Williams. (Attributions use writers’ initials.)

= Hall of Famers (Four or more straight wins!)