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Besties balloting begins

by Cynthia Laird

Balloting for the Bay Area Reporter's eighth readers' poll, the Besties, begins Thursday (February 1).

The popular contest allows readers to share their favorite LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly people, places, and things in the Bay Area. Categories run the gamut from arts and culture to nightlife to dining to community. There are also destinations nominees and more.

Look for some new entries this year, such as best personal trainer. Additionally there are two categories for cannabis, reflecting the now-legal use of recreational marijuana by adults. The entries for local nonprofits have been reconfigured, with mostly new nominees.

This year editors and some repeat winners agreed to retire some nominees to give others a chance to win. For example, San Francisco Pride has long been readers' best LGBT event. This year, the category asks respondents to pick another event they wish more people would go to. As in the past, readers are free to write in their own nominations in each category over those listed.

Readers who complete at least 75 percent of the ballot will automatically be eligible for prizes. The top prize is $500 cash. Other prizes include a two-night accommodation at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco, a $500 shopping spree at Cliff's Variety; a $250 gift certificate for the Cliff House; and a pair of tickets to see Erasure in August (courtesy of Live Nation).

Early-bird voters (first week) will be entered into a special contest to win five pairs of tickets to see "Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon" (Must be 21 or older for evening shows). For more details, see the ad in the arts section.

There is a printed ballot on pages 2-3; or vote online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Besties2018.

Bestie voting will close March 1 at 11:59 p.m.; the Besties issue will be published Thursday, April 12.

Save the evening of April 12, when the B.A.R. will host its Besties party at Oasis, 298 11th Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. and open to the public (21 and over). The evening will feature drink specials, light refreshments, and performances by Besties winners and nominees.

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