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Best Of Charlotte 2004

The people have spoken!

So, for that matter, have the critics. And the result is the paper you hold in your hands: Creative Loafing's 2004 Best of Charlotte issue.

We've counted up all the readers' votes, and we also heard from our esteemed critics. And the results were right in line with what one would expect during an election year. In some categories, the champion won by a landslide, and in others the winner was decided by a single vote. We fortunately didn't have to worry about hanging chads, but some races were so close that we held a couple of recounts to insure that the proper person/venue/what-have-you was being cited. And with no Supreme Court to gum up the works, we know we can stand by our results.

As with any political process, attempts at ballot stuffing were common. (Note to the joker who e-mailed 300 ballots all listing the same choice for Best Male Singer: C'mon, didja think we wouldn't notice?) But after carefully weeding out the bad apples, the results reflect the vast majority of readers who voted fair and square.

As always, this issue wouldn't be possible without the combined efforts of the Loafing Party: the vote tabulators, critics, sales people, designers, writers, photographers, editors, bean counters and distributors. And we'd also like to give a hearty pat on the back to local actor Scott Helms, who "campaigned" as the official Loafing Party candidate you see on this page and at the front of each section. Scott, not to be confused with Jesse Helms (Lord no), hit the streets of Charlotte as Creative Loafing's official candidate. He's running for something, but neither he nor we are sure what; it's all a little hazy (or is that shady?). In the pages that follow, you can see the CL candidate shaking hands with the people, partying with his constituents, and, um, apparently taking a bribe (his spokesperson will issue a press release shortly to deny this allegation). His platform includes saving the whales, saving the trees, saving himself the trouble of holding down a real job, and saving coupons out of supermarket newspapers. But on with the show.

We'd like to thank the city of Charlotte for embracing this annual issue with enthusiasm, and we pledge to continue to do our best for the next four years -- and beyond.

Critics' Panel: Sam Boykin, Matt Brunson, Tricia Childress, Timothy C. Davis, John Grooms, Lindsey Grossman, Gene Lazo, Scott Lucas, Karen Martin, Shannon Reichley, John Schacht, Sandy Seawright, Tara Servatius, Samir Shukla, Perry Tannenbaum, Linda Vespa, David Walters, Ann Wicker.

Lead Copywriter: Karen Martin.

Editorial Assistants: Sherri Engel, Stephanie Marshall.

Photography: Chris Radok.

Design: Creative Services. Enter Best of Charlotte Web site

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