By The Numbers

The Best Numbers: Thanks for the Biggest ‘Best Of’ Poll Ever

now that voting is over, we wanted to share some inside info

V1 Staff |

Well that was fun! Now that voting has concluded, we wanted to show our appreciation to all of you who took the time to participate in this year’s Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll, by sharing some inside info. Don’t worry, there aren’t spoilers here: As usual, winners will be announced in February. But for now we wanted to pull back the curtain to show what local people are voting on – and how many of them are voting on it.

The biggest year yet!

This was a surprisingly big year for the poll. Despite the pandemic blues, people participated in the Best Of more than ever.

A good-sized chunk of the local population checked out the poll this year. During the voting period Nov. 25 to Dec. 8, about 30,000 people from Eau Claire, Menomonie, and Chippewa Falls checked out the Volume One website.

What do people like around here?

Simple: we like food. The Chomping & Chugging category got the most votes this year. Followed by the largest categories: Services & Specialties, and Shopping & Spending. The new Masking & Sanitizing category also got quite a bit of action.

The color areas represent the size and popularity of each category.

 Top 10 most-popular poll questions:

  1. Biggest Thing We Should Make Happen Soon
  2. Best Burger
  3. Best Bakery
  4. Best Breakfast Spot
  5. Best Place to Impress Out-of-Town Guests
  6. Kind of Eatery / Bar We Most Need
  7. Things the Chippewa Valley is Bad At
  8. Best Appetizer (Not Cheese Curds)
  9. Best Portrait Photographer
  10. Best Café / Coffeehouse

 Most popular questions in Masking & Sanitizing:

  1. Canceled Event You Miss the Most
  2. COVID MVP (Organization)
  3. Business You Miss the Most (Temporarily or Permanently Closed)
  4. Biggest Local Bummer
  5. Best Curbside / Carryout Dining Service

The Poll Keeps Growing

For better or worse, the Best Of poll keeps growing. We added a handful of questions, and added a new section, “Masking & Sanitizing,” just for 2020 (hopefully). We started off with about 5,000 pre-populated nominees across 315 poll questions. During the nomination and voting periods, the community (that’s you guys!) added 2,540 additional nominations.

Darker colors represent the percent of nominations added by the community.

The Results ...

As in past years, the winners will be announced in our huge special “Best Of” issue of Volume One, which will be released the first week of February. The winners and runners-up will also be posted here on our website at that time. So stay tuned!