Best of Athens Logo 2018

In this, the 29th year of The Athens NEWS Best of Athens Readers’ Choice Awards, for the second consecutive year we employed a two-round voting process.

In previous years, Best of Athens offered a single round in which participants wrote down their choices, and the top vote-getters won the category, with second- and third-place finishers also being recognized with certificates. Last year and this year, we started with a nominating round, similar to the single round from past years. Then, the five top vote-getters from the nominating round were listed in the final round for each category, though in some cases, where entries tied for fifth place, we offered six or seven choices. In a few cases, where only three or four finalists received votes, we offered fewer than five choices.

Online voting at took place during much of January and early February, with voting in the final round ending at midnight, Feb. 8.

This year we validated 1,392 votes in the final round. All told, some 51,212 votes were entered in all categories (meaning the system notched a vote each time someone made a selection in a category). We required participants to vote in at least 15 categories in order for their votes to be counted.

In the Best of Athens write-ups we include in today's issue and the next one, on Feb. 20, we list the winners, along with the second through fifth (and infrequently, sixth or seventh) place.

You can check out the first wave of results at the links to each category below:

On Monday, we'll continue with the rest of the results for "Commerce," "Nightlife" and "For Students Only."

We thank our readers who devoted their valuable time to completing the ballots and returning them before the deadline. We also give a very big shout-out to Cheryl Powers, interactive media coordinator for APG Media of Ohio, who set up the online survey and tabulated our results.

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