Thanks to all of you, dear Inlander readers, for again taking the time to help us crown Best Of winners. Inside this issue, you'll read all about the results of our 22nd annual readers poll. We know it's a lot of questions — heck, we've been building the ballot, tallying results and writing up the results starting all the way back in January.
It's always fascinating, and often hilarious, to run through the votes that didn't quite make it. There are some pretty good ideas in there. Say, for example, you're in the market to know the BEST PLACE TO POP THE QUESTION, from this year's Romance category: At a Chiefs game; up in the Radio Flyer in Riverfront Park; and at Glacier National Park. Nice. In that same category, we did get a little pushback: "Which question?" one reader wondered. Another asked, "Who even says 'Pop the Question?'"
Also in Romance, we asked you to tell us the BEST PLACE FOR A BLIND DATE. Dick's? Déjà vu? Seriously? And you wonder why you've never had the chance to pop the question (or whatever we're supposed to call it nowadays)?
How about the BEST NEW-TO-THE-REGION FOOD TREND? Try these: beer dinner pairings (tasty); locally sourced foods; fried cheese curds (thanks, Wisconsinburger!); bacon on everything (is that really new?); hard cider; Moscow mules; crepes (oui!); and — you knew it was coming — edible marijuana (combine with fried cheese curds at your own risk).
Misspellings have long been good for some laughs around Best Of time, and now that people are voting on their smartphones, it's even getting worse — I mean funnier. Spokane has long had a complicated relationship with its TV personalities, and this year was no different, as Stapnie Vigil, Nadean Woodward, Kajersten Bell and Swen Walstrom all made solid showings.
One rogue letter made an impact under BEST FAMILY EVENT, too, as Pug Out in the Park got a vote. (Potential spin-off event?) But the question also put both sides of Spokane on display, as one vote came in for A Backyard BBQ — ahh, what a beautiful vision of family bliss. Then another came in for The Hunger Games — so very wrong...
Finally, who knew BEST POET would be among the most hotly contested categories? The also-ran list is pretty impressive — Longfellow, Eminem, Leonard Cohen, Alex Sherman (again with the name-mangling?) and Doug Clark. One voter nailed the whole spirit of Best Of when he wrote in "Me." Yes, without you, Best Of voter, we could never have this much fun celebrating all that's great about the Inland Northwest.♦