The nominations are in and the top finalists are ready for your vote. Beginning today, and running through Wednesday, May 30, the public is able to vote for the finalists in each of the seven groups.

Some kudos should be given to the community. While we updated to a new process this year, it did not slow you down in nominating your favorite people, places, businesses and events. There were over 7,000 nominations and I believe that goes to show your passion for the place you call home.

Before the nominations period began, I mentioned the reasons around why we tweaked this contest. What I did not mention was how many finalists there will actually be. Going into it, we were shooting for a total of five in each category. However, ties were a factor that pushed the amount of finalists above that total, and on some occasions, below that total.

Nevertheless, what you have is a list of worthy finalists that deserve to have some excitement thrown their way. Some are new to the list. Some have been around for years. With the inclusion of North Lake into the mix, we are truly getting the best that Tahoe has to offer and we should celebrate that all day, every day.

With that in mind, we'll also be looking at additional ways to celebrate our winners over the course of the year. Winning should be a big deal. So we should make it a big deal.

For many, heart, soul, time and money are poured into their efforts to make what they do the best possible. That should deserve more attention on our end and also create awareness on the consumer end. Look for these in the months to come. We're going to have some fun with it.

As an added bonus this year, all voters will be entered to win a $150 gift certificate to Lake Tahoe AleWorX so don't forget to vote. It could mean a date night out with your significant other and you should never give up one of those.

In my previous column I had also mentioned the celebration event for a few handfuls of categories. More news on that to come, but save the date: Thursday, June 28.

It will be free to the public and we want to use that to simply celebrate the people and places that make Tahoe unique – because at the end of the day, it's that uniqueness that adds to the Tahoe experience.

Publisher Rob Galloway can be reached at or 530-542-8046.