PUBLISHER'S COLUMN | Best of Whidbey launches on South End

Did you hear the starting pistol?

The annual Best of Whidbey is underway.

A true reader’s choice awards, winners proudly display their certificates won over the years in their respective businesses. You also see the official Best of Whidbey logo in advertising.

It’s a fun, lighthearted competition that celebrates many of the great things our island community has to offer.

Wednesday’s newspaper saw the return of a paper ballot. For a number of years, the competition was online only. By reintroducing a paper ballot, our intent was to reach out to those people who aren’t Internet savvy, or who simply prefer voting the old fashioned way.

It also recognizes the Best of Whidbey’s beginnings as a newspaper contest.

The ballot is publishing in the paper only once. The remainder of the contest will be voted online.

There is no requirement that a business or organization buy an ad or pay any money whatsoever to be nominated or win Best of Whidbey. None. Nada. Zip.

There is no fee for anyone to complete a ballot and turn it in.

In fact, from amongst all of the ballots that are submitted, someone will be randomly drawn to win a $100 gift certificate to a Whidbey Island restaurant.

While businesses all across Whidbey Island have been recognized and won Best of Whidbey in the past, this year’s contest more purposefully reaches out to all of Whidbey Island, from bridge to ferry.

The paper ballots appeared in the South Whidbey Record, The Whidbey Examiner and Whidbey News-Times. The electronic ballots are located on each of the newspapers’ websites.

Reader’s choice awards are not new by any means, and the Best of Whidbey dates back many years. Interest in competing — and winning — has grown tremendously.

There are people who take Best of Whidbey very seriously, and others not so much. There’s no right or wrong way to approach it. It is not a scientific survey and doesn’t pretend to be.

Ultimately, the objective is for everyone to have some fun while offering deserved kudos to some amazing people, places, services, food and products on Whidbey Island.

If you haven’t voted already, log on and complete your ballot today.


— Keven R. Graves is executive editor and publisher for the Whidbey News Group. Email your comments and suggestions to him at kgraves@whidbeynewsgroup.com

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