Best Of 2023

Best Cheerleader for Central Florida's Cultural History: Bob Kealing
Bob Kealing | courtesy photo

If ever there were a person who made you proud to be a Central Floridian, it's Bob Kealing. From broadcast news to authoring books, Kealing digs up the stories that tell us about a Florida that is as nuanced and culturally rich as anywhere in the country. He's lent his talents and reputation to lift up and celebrate the things that give us some communal bragging rights, like the Kerouac House in College Park. His books range from the female-empowerment story of Brownie Wise and Tupperware to the genesis of country rock via Gram Parsons. His most recent, Good Day Sunshine State, digs deep into the Beatles touring in Florida at the height of Beatlemania, just as the nation was bouncing back from the JFK tragedy and mass social change began to sweep across the state and the world.

instagram.com/bob_kealing

Best of Orlando: Local Notables

Best of Orlando: Local Notables
Best Local Charitable Group
Photo via Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida/Facebook

1st: Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, feedhopenow.org

2nd: Zebra Coalition, zebrayouth.org

3rd: Aeras Foundation, aeras.foundation

Best Local Activist Group
courtesy photo/Equality Florida

1st: Equality Florida, eqfl.org

2nd: Stand With Abortion Now (SWAN), swanoforlando.org

3rd: League of Women Voters of Florida, lwvoc.org

Best Local Animal Rescue
Photo courtesy the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando

1st: Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, petallianceorlando.org

2nd: Pet Rescue by Judy, petrescuebyjudy.com

3rd: Orange County Animal Services, orangecountyanimalservicesfl.net

Best Local Elected Official
Photo by Matt Keller Lehman

1st: State Rep. Anna Eskamani, annaforflorida.com

2nd: Mayor Buddy Dyer, orlando.gov

3rd: U.S. Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost, frost.house.gov

Best Local Music-Focused Radio Station
Courtesy photo

1st: WXXL 106.7, xl1067.iheart.com

2nd: WJRR 101.1, wjrr.iheart.com

3rd: WPRK 91.5, wprk.org

1st: WTKS 104.1-FM Real Radio, realradio.iheart.com

2nd: WMFE 90.7-FM, wmfe.org

3rd: WDBO 107.3-FM and 580-AM, wdbo.com/on-air

Best Local Radio Voice
Photo via Johnny Magic/Facebook

1st: Johnny Magic, XL 106.7 xl1067.iheart.com/featured/johnny-magic/about

2nd: Sabrina Ambra, Real Radio 104.1, facebook.com/sabrina.ambra

3rd: Russ Rollins, Real Radio 104.1, realradio.iheart.com/featured/monsters-blogs-russ-rollins

Best Local Radio Show
Photo courtesy Johnny's House/Facebook

1st: "Johnny's House" on XL 106.7, xl1067.iheart.com/featured/johnny-s-house-live-blog

2nd: "Monsters in the Morning" on Real Radio 104.1, realradio.iheart.com/featured/as-heard-on-the-monsters

3rd: "The News Junkie" on Real Radio 104.1, thenewsjunkie.com