East Tennessee's Best - 2009

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Ten years is a long time. It's a whole decade, in fact.

Ten years ago when we revved up this whole East Tennessee's Best business, we were all still trying to figure out how to get rid of all that Y2K survival gear we had stockpiled (we finally finished off the beans and bottled water last April). It was a simpler time, with no Twitter, and no "Lost" time travel or Locke doppelganger headaches. Kanye West's ego had yet to swell to a size comparable to that of New Jersey, and Windows 2000 was still causing grownups to throw temper tantrums.

But, for all those changes, some things remain the same. East Tennessee is still a wonderful place to live, love, work and - hopefully later rather than sooner - die. It's still a place with fantastic shopping, delicious dining options and 1,001 terrific ways to spend a Saturday. And it's still a place where everyone loves to vote for their favorite stuff.

This year we celebrated the area's best in shopping, dining, entertainment and pastimes a little differently. With the exception of one print ballot, we threw out the old-school paper ballots. Also, a one-time nominating phase took place entirely online at Knoxville.com from July 20-31. The nominees in each of the 100 categories then went head to head in the voting booth at Knoxville.com from Aug. 7-21. The nominee receiving the most votes in a category is, of course, the winner.

We've counted the votes, all 88,063 of them. What follows are our readers' favorites. Each of the 100 categories includes a list of runners-up. Most categories have two runners-up, although occasionally there are three due to tied voting.

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