Kim McKenna, the owner of Old Colorado City's Barracuda Bazaar, quickly flipped through The Gazette's Best of the Springs magazine on Thursday night.
Within minutes, she saw that her business had clinched a silver medal in the category of best dress shop.
It was an exciting night, she said of the event at the Pikes Peak Center where the winners were announced. "I brought all my employees, my daughters, my husband, my son-in-law - we made it a total family affair."
Hundreds of people packed the party celebrating the magazine, which will publish Sunday. They sampled food from restaurants across the city, listened to music and indulged in massages and tarot card readings.
When people walked in, they heard music courtesy of Brian Hepperle, who DJs under the name HEPS DJ.
This year, he won gold in the categories of wedding DJ and event DJ.
"To be asked to be a part of this, to be honored, it's definitely humbling," he said.
This year, the magazine's theme was "top dog," pairing well with the nonprofit that received donations at the door Thursday night. A suggested $10 donation per person went to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, which was the 2016 gold winner for best nonprofit.
"Of course, those donations will go right back to the many life-saving programs that we have at the Humane Society," said spokeswoman Gretchen Pressley. The Humane Society took in about 23,00 pets last year, 17,000 of which were in Colorado Springs, and "every dollar counts," she said.
Three Gazette readers' dogs graced the cover of the magazine, and four more appeared inside its pages. More than 500 people volunteered their dogs to be featured, said Michelle Karas, The Gazette's arts and entertainment editor.
About this year's theme, she said: "Everybody loves their dog in Colorado, and I knew it would resonate with the readers."
To find out who won in each category, check out the magazine on Sunday or visit thebestoftheSprings.com.
Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198