And so we meet again. Twenty-seven years ago, City Weekly published its first Best of Utah issue, and it immediately took off. Many similar recognition efforts by other organizations have come and gone since (the latest being The Salt Lake Tribune's Salt Awards). To you, we hand an honorary "Best Form of Flattery" award.
To our readers, well, no amount of plaques and cheers is enough. You voted in record numbers this year, giving us more than 100,000 votes to tabulate in categories that ranged from Best Utahn to Best Vape Store. Some of you even did your due diligence and wrote-in your selections. This issue is for all of you; even those of you who wrote answers like "My yard" under Best Swimming, "They serve alcohol here?" for Best Utah Valley Club and "My wife" for best PokéStop. Yes, this issue is even for the soul who filled out an entire ballot simply with "Fuck u" scribbled all over it. We tip our collective hats to you, unknown poet.
This time of year is also when editorial staffers and contributors get out of their comfort zones, test their IBS and sacrifice precious personal time all to shine a spotlight on well-known and under-the-radar foods, people, places and things.
Utah counties, we haven't forgotten about you. You get your own special section as well. You'll also get a chance to see a bunch of the faces that were instrumental in putting this beast together in the ultimate throwback spread. We were so young and innocent then. Peppered throughout, you'll also find blurbs from years past that were worth dusting off.
It's often considered that 27 is the mark when all the greats perish, yet I can truly say the best is yet to come. So polish up an apple, sharpen your pencil and get ready to get schooled. Class is in session.
Contributors: Sarah Arnoff, Carolyn Campbell, Ryan Cunningham, Stephen Dark, Darby Doyle, Colby Frazier, Lance Gudmundsen, Dylan Woolf Harris, Andrea Harvey, Randy Harward, Westin Porter, Scott Renshaw, Amanda Rock, Mikey Saltas, Ted Scheffler, Gavin Sheehan, Alex Springer and Jerre Wroble.