After two months of online balloting and tens of thousands of votes cast, we present to you your favorites in dozens of categories in our fifth annual Best of Atlanta awards.
Many people like to say these awards are nothing but a popularity contest. We don’t deny that at all, because in the end, the winners are decided by one thing only: your votes.
Our first round of voting took place in May and we gave readers a chance to nominate their favorites in categories of Community, People, Places, Shopping, Eats, Arts & Entertainment, Nightlife, Pets and Services. In most cases, the top three vote-getters (or more if there was a tie) were named finalists and moved on to the second stage of multiple-choice voting, which lasted through the end of June.
Many organizations, people and businesses let their fates be determined unprompted. Others mounted organized campaigns, usually through Facebook and Twitter, to convince fans and to garner votes from fans and friends and others. Both approaches are valuable and any group or business that has a devoted fan base willing to vote every day is worth checking out.
Be sure to congratulate the winners. And if your favorite didn’t make it to the finals, plan on doing something about that next year by nominating and voting early and often.
The best part of this issue is the party we throw for it, a party for the winners, finalists and for everyone who makes this community a great place to live, work and play.
We hope to see you there on July 17 at the Georgian Terrace. We couldn’t throw the party without the kindness and generosity of the gorgeous Midtown hotel as well as Green’s Liquor and Barefoot Wine, Henry’s Midtown, Campagnolo Restaurant & Bar, Green Ginger, Southern Sweets, our emcee Ian Aber of A Bear Comedy Show and DJ Vicki Powell.
Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to all of our communities who share their stories with us and therefore empower all of us.
LGBT BLOG OR WEBSITE
PROJECT Q ATLANTA
Readers chose Project Q Atlanta (www.projectqatlanta.com) as their favorite LGBT Blog or Website and it’s no wonder why. The blog has offered an eclectic mix of community issues, event photo galleries, crime reports and sexy pics for six years now, and recently even expanded into the Houston market.
• Equally Wed (www.equallywed.com) came in second place while Towleroad (www.towleroad.com) placed third.
HOUSE OF WORSHIP
SAINT MARK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
When LGBT Atlanta wants to worship in a safe place surrounded by familiar faces, they go to Saint Mark United Methodist Church (www.stmarkumc.org). The beautiful Midtown church has been welcoming the community for decades, and continues to preach the good word— equality—every week.
• Congregation Bet Haverim (www.congregationbethaverim.org) placed second and New Covenant Church (www.newcovenantatlanta.com) came in third.
Atlanta has an HIV/AIDS problem, and readers chose Positive Impact/MISTER (www.positiveimpact-atl.org) as their favorite group fighting it. Positive Impact has been providing HIV-related services for the community since 1993, and their MISTER program is an extension of that crucial work.
• AID Atlanta (www.aidatlanta.org) came in second place while Project Open Hand (www.projectopenhand.org) placed third.
LGBT Atlanta loves to get its Pride on, and they showed it by picking Atlanta Pride (www.atlantapride.org) for Best LGBT Event. The festival, the parties, the parade and more keep hundreds of thousands flocking every year, no matter if it is summer or fall, rain or shine. Happy Pride!
• Out on Film (www.outonfilm.org) came in second and HRC Dinner Gala (www.hrcatlanta.org) placed third.
LGBT CHARITY EVENT
EAST POINT POSSUMS SHOW
We have many of worthy LGBT charity events in Atlanta, but one stood out above
the rest and that’s the East Point Possums Show (www.eastpointpossums.com). “The Southeast’s Largest Drag Extravaganza” offers numerous unforgettable acts and raises vital money for LGBT organizations in the process.
• Joining Hearts Pool Party (www.joininghearts.org) came in second place and Toy Party (www.forthekid.org) came in third.
It was a tough battle, but the Atlanta Bucks (www.atlantabucksrugby.org) emerged victorious as Best Sports Team. Those purple-clad rugby warriors are into their second decade of grinding it out on the field and happily celebrating afterward. The club’s annual Purple Dress Run fundraiser is a can’t-miss.
• Decatur Women’s Sports Softball League (www.decaturwomensports.com) came in second place and Atlanta Rainbow Trout (www.atlantarainbowtrout.com) rounded out the category in third.
Roughly 750 LGBT kids are roaming Atlanta’s streets every night with nowhere to stay and Best LGBT Nonprofit Lost-N-Found (www.lost-n-found.org) is doing everything it can to help them. The all-volunteer organization has a drop-in center and thrift shop, and coming soon is a new, larger office and shelter to meet the youths’ needs.
• For the Kid (www.forthekid.org) came in second place while Georgia Equality (www.georgiaequality.org) placed third