The first annual Billy Penn Awards will honor Philly’s awesomest people

Introducing The Billies: We’re throwing a gala party.

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Illustration: Billy Penn; Photo: Mark Henninger

Despite its many flaws, Billy Penn is all in on this city. Like so many of you, we’re fans of Philly’s resilience in the face of struggles; its centuries-long quest to be inclusive; its diverse fabric of neighborhoods; its hundreds of years of innovation.

To recognize the people who make it all happen — and have to have some fun along the way — we’re thrilled to announce the first annual Billy Penn Awards Gala.

The Billies will showcase local movers and shakers and creators and instigators. In seven different categories (plus a couple of surprises), we’ll recognize Philadelphians and Philadelphia institutions who are having an impact on politics, culture, arts, sports, food, science and business in this city.

The inaugural event goes down June 26 at World Cafe Live, and it will be a gala celebration. Miss the Philly Geek Awards or the Philly Beer Scene Awards? This is your chance to doll up and show your stuff. (We’re saying “creative black tie” for dress code — emphasis firmly on the “creative.”)

Tickets will go on sale Friday, May 17, at 10 a.m. Billy Penn members and newsletter subscribers can look out for a password to get early access starting today.

What’ll your $22 ticket include? We’ve enlisted several cool folks to help make this a night to remember, including Casey Parker, co-owner of Pistolas Restaurants and Philly Loves Beer president, who’ll emcee the show with Billy Penn editor Danya Henninger. We’ll start the evening with a social hour, there’ll be music and jokes, The Mummers will make an appearance, and several other well-known Philly names will help hand out Billies statues to our honorees.

Official nominees will be announced next week in the categories below.

Note: Later this month, we’ll also roll out a People’s Choice Award that’ll be entirely decided by your votes. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for deserving recipients of the accolades listed here, feel free to email tips@billypenn.com and we’ll add them to our list for consideration.

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Who’s making an impact in Philadelphia performing or visual arts, music, audio, comedy — or pushing forward all of the above?

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In a city not exactly known for its fashion, who has the look to die for? Whose appearance made an indelible mark? Which creatively dressed public persona wears it best?

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Liquids have never been hotter, from the growing craft beer and spirits scene to innovations in coffee to healthful smoothies and ‘buch. Which sip reps Philly best?

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Geeks, techies and everyone else in the city’s plentiful STEM community: this award honors the innovators keeping Philly at the forefront of discovery.

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Social media is a double-edged sword, but some wield it with great effect. Whose account do you hope never disappears?

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Philly has no lack of troubles — but luckily, also no shortage of people working to turn things around, and those folks definitely deserve to be honored.

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Speaks for itself. Who is the face of this city right now, the one we simply couldn’t do without?