It’s that time of year again. No, we aren’t talking about getting the kids back to school or heading to the hills with your bow and arrow.

It’s time for the annual Elko Daily Free Press Readers’ Choice contest.

Each year our newspaper asks readers to cast their votes for who, what and where people can find the best that Elko has to offer. It’s a way of honoring the efforts of local businesses and organizations that strive for excellence.

When we shop around town we often find places that proudly display their past Readers’ Choice certificates, letting the public know they have been chosen as the best of the best. This is the number one way for Elko residents to show their seal of approval.

The process begins with a list of businesses and organizations in a number of categories and subcategories. Readers can add their own nominees and the lists are posted at Then the voting begins. Readers can vote once per day, from now through Sept. 19.

Main categories include automotive, entertainment, finance/professional services, fitness/beauty, home improvement/construction, medical (people and pets), mining, real estate, and retail/miscellaneous.

There are lots of fun categories, too, such as “Best Place to Take Out of Town Guests.” It’s easy to come up with a few ideas for this one on your own, but can you come up with 20? That’s how many nominees are on the ballot this year.

The voting lists themselves are full of information. Anyone who browses through them will see that Elko has much more to offer than at first glance. Did you know there are a 10 fitness centers to choose from if you are looking for a little exercise? Or 15 businesses that offer home building or remodeling services? Check out the lists if you are looking for a chiropractor, optometrist, pet groomer, real estate agent, and more.

Where do you go to enjoy your favorite appetizer? The ballot shows 27 restaurants to choose from. Looking for a place to buy a unique gift? There are 27 of them on the list, too. Looking for a sports bar? There are a dozen on the ballot.

The 2017 Readers’ Choice poll also has a couple of new categories. For this year only we are asking readers to vote on their favorite Centennial Boot.

We have also added a new annual category, Best Local Band/Performer. The nominees are Beach Party Surfers, Cheryl Powder, Country Heart, Doin tyme, High Jacked—Chip Stone, ILL Zakiel, Muddy Boots & The Porch Pounders, Nicholas Palacio, Ruby Mountain Ardi Baltza, Southwind , The Moonshine Outlaws, and Whiskey & Wine.

If you don’t see your favorite named in any category, there is a blank space at the bottom where you can write in your own choice.

There are so many categories and nominees to choose from that you might not have time to get to all of them at once. That’s OK, you do not need to vote in every category. Partially filled ballots will still count.

After the votes are tabulated the results will be published in the Elko Daily on Oct. 27. Then you can see if the parties you voted for match those of a majority of Elko Daily readers.

Members of the Elko Daily Free Press editorial board are Travis Quast, Jeffry Mullins and Suzanne Featherston.