It’s that time again — time to kick off our 5th annual Best of Salem readers’ poll.
This year we’ve added eight new categories — best burger, best salads, best consignment shop, best retirement home, best middle school event (previously combined with elementary), best student-run school club or organization, best community service project by a civic group or other non-profit, and best “hidden jewel” in Salem that more people should know about.
Those join more than 50 other categories, that include all the usual favorites — from best teacher and best rec league coach to best new thing in Salem in the past year.
We’ll open up the voting about mid-week, first with a low-key soft launch to make sure everything’s working, then the official kick-off on Feb. 8.
The voting ends at midnight on Sunday, March 10 and we’ll publish the results on April 19.
Since our first “best of” in 2009, voting in Salem has increased elevenfold, so the competition has become 11 times as fierce. (Yes, you’re reading that right: We got 11 times as many votes last year as our first year!)
With that in mind, we have something else new this year: We have a way for businesses who want to launch their own “vote for us” campaign to download free materials. Just go to roanoke.com/bestof for those.
The actual ballot will be here at sosalem.com, as always; check the site for when it goes live. Or friend us on “Facebook” or like us on “Twitter” and we’ll send you updates.