Best of Athens 2020 logo

Over the past month, the excitement has been building to a fever pitch, with Athens County residents panting in expectation, frothing at the mouth, their hearts pounding, their stomachs churning, to start nominating their favorites for Best of Athens.

Down, Rover. Heel. Eat this biscuit.

OK, that’s better. Please stay calm while we announce that The Athens NEWS Best of Athens Readers’ Choice Awards’ nomination round starts today (Friday, Feb. 14) at

Best of Athens has undergone a total renovation and expansion in 2020, after 30 consecutive years of informing and enlightening Athens and Athens County.

In this 31st year, Best of Athens has been drawn out and extended, with the nominating round running from tomorrow, Feb. 14, through Friday, Feb. 28, and the voting round running from March 9-30. We’ll announce the winners in our issues on April 9 and 16.

We believe that stretching out the contest will add drama to the proceedings, and make the final announcements in April all the more exciting. It also gives local businesses more time to promote why they deserve our readers’ votes.

We’ve also refurbished and expanded our list of categories, removing some, adding some and improving some. As in past years, we’re running categories in seven different sections – People, Foodies Favorites, Commerce, Nightlife, Miscellaneous, Places and a special section for Ohio University and Hocking College students, For Students Only.

All voting is occurring online, again at Look for the link to Best of Athens at the top of our home page.

After the nominating round ends on Feb. 28, we will take the top five choices for each voting category from the nominations and include them in a final voting round.

We don’t allow ballot stuffing, and all ballots must have at least 10 categories filled out before being considered. Businesses may encourage customers to vote for them in particular categories (including with strategically placed ads in the Best of Athens submission form), but not for a slate that includes multiple categories. If there is evidence of ballot stuffing, those ballots will be disqualified. All of that information is included in the introduction to the online ballot.

For any questions, please contact me at

OK, that’s all. At ease, Rover.

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