It’s time once again to find the Best of the Baldwin Woodville Area.

Now in its third year, the contest is accepting nominations until Friday, May 20.

We began our online search for the best in eating and drinking, sports and recreation, health and fitness, shopping, arts and entertainment, local and services in 2020. During the pandemic year, we received 1,212 nominations and 9,314 votes. We were blown away by the response.

In 2021, we received 1,020 nominations and 24,305 votes. We truly didn’t know what to say, because how do you top “blown away”?

What will 2022 bring? Will your favorites be able to defend their titles? Will others who haven’t been recognized get their due?

I can’t answer those questions for you, but if you have a favorite that you would like to see recognized again or someone you feel needs some love and recognition, there’s something you can do about it — nominate them.

The way the contest is structured, the people, places or things that get the most nominations get on the ballot. It is perfectly fine to nominate yourself or have friends do so for you. In fact, we encourage it.

In fact, you can go to https://www.baldwin-bulletin.com/bestof/#// and begin making nominations. The first time you do so, you will be prompted to create an account so you when you return each day through May 20, you can simply use the link you will receive in an email to get back to the work of nominating your favorites.

It is easy to do. Simply chose a category, make your nomination and fill out your e-mail address. Continue and complete as many categories as possible. If you nominate in at least 25 categories, you'll be entered into a sweepstakes to win $100.

Only categories with 3 or more nominations will move on to voting.

Responding to feedback from readers and businesses, we have added and refined categories in the contest this year, so put on your thinking cap and support as many local businesses as you can think of when you are nominating.

The contest is run exclusively online. Nominations and votes are strictly confidential, just like our elections. (Insert uncomfortable political joke of your choice here.)

A pro tip about the contest: you can nominate and vote once every 24 hours. If you have mad love for your favorite hamburger, nominate its maker EVERY DAY until the nomination period closes. The persons, places and food with the most nominations will make the ballot.

It’s perfectly fine and legal (unlike elections) to vote more than once. In fact, you can vote once for every category on the ballot every 24 hours. In the end, like the nominations, the persons, places and food with the most votes will win.

It’s also perfectly fine and legal to vote for yourself, just like in elections.

We know readers of the Baldwin Bulletin are discriminating arbiters of all things, that’s why they do a great job with the contest. We also know there are some pretty amazing people and things in the area that need to be recognized every year.

So, do your part. Nominate your favorites now. Vote for them when the ballot is finalized. Show them all the love and respect they are due.

As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at tstangl@theameryfreepress.com, telephone 715-268-8101 or write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.

Thanks for reading. I’ll keep in touch. Feel free to do the same.

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