The biggie

Enjoy our most-read issue of the year, but be sure to come back next week

The giant newspaper you’re holding in your hands, or perhaps perusing online, is the CN&R’s biggest issue of the year (a whopping 72 pages). Trust me when I say that Best of Chico is also the most anticipated issue we publish annually. Seriously, I get inquiries weeks and even months in advance from readers asking me when it will hit the stands.

Indeed, it’s our biggie.

On the morning of publication, it’s not unusual to find people hovering around the newspaper rack in front of our office. That’s generally the case for those who beat the distribution driver. Sure, people can read the issue online in the wee hours of the morning, but a lot of readers want that tactile experience. I can relate. I love holding a newspaper.

When the Best of Chico issue finally drops, we at the corner office at Second and Flume streets let out a collective sigh of relief. It’s a doozy to work on, though those of us in CN&R’s editorial department do get to have a little fun by offering our takes in the Editors’ Picks, those quirky write-ups that let us give a shout out to people, places and things that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Those descriptions that accompany each first-place winner in the readers’ poll don’t write themselves, so I’m thinking Managing Editor Meredith J. Cooper, who coordinates this giant project and writes most of those little capsules, is probably going to be the most relieved.

The entire project is a team effort, though, from the design folks who make it pretty to the delivery drivers who lug the hefty copies to the CN&R’s nearly 850 pick-up locations spread over Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties. My thanks to everyone who helped pull this thing together.

As for the results of the contest, well, if you don’t like them, blame the voters. We’re just the messenger.

Speaking of which, we get suggestions throughout the year for new categories to include, and we appreciate the feedback. Some of them actually make the cut. We get some oddball requests, too. A woman at an event once told me it was a huge omission that the CN&R did not include a category of Best Lemonade, for example. Don’t look for that one anytime soon.

For those who would like to make a suggestion, here are a few things to consider: Best of Chico is a contest, so the categories we offer must have enough competition in town. The more competition, the better. It should also be something that readers have strong opinions about.

Just keep in mind that we have only so much room in this issue. When we add a category, we often drop one.

Speaking of precious newspaper space, I want to remind readers that there’s more in this annual issue than just the Best of Chico results. In addition to reading about the winners of the contest, please check out our timely news, opinion, arts and feature write-ups. Those sections—which include a business page, health and environmental stories, and a full calendar of events—are found in these pages week in and week out.

I say that because it’s come to my attention that some of the people who pick up the Best of Chico issue are the folks who read the paper only once a year. Don’t be that person. Be sure to come back next week. We’ll be here.