February 2 has witnessed its fair share of historic events. The crowning of King Otto I of Germany as Great Emperor in 962. Queen Victoria’s funeral in 1901. The publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1922. The birth of Ina Garten, a.k.a., the Barefoot Contessa, in 1948. The first Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1984 (Days of Our Lives was the big winner, obviously.) We could go on.

Today, another milestone joins that hallowed roster: Readers’ Choice voting for 5280’s 2018 Top of the Town awards begins!

Some of you might be questioning the importance of the Readers’ Choice awards. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, This thing is rigged. 5280’s advertisers are going to win no matter whom I vote for. First of all, plaudits on the correct usage of “whom” there. Second, unlike another important election, the popular vote always wins in 5280 Top of the Town balloting. Top of the Town recognition is based solely on our research and readers’ votes; there is zero connection between advertisers and winners.

And while either candidate you send to Washington, D.C., will ultimately disappoint you, Readers’ Choice winners matter. For the following 365 days, they will rule as the best spots in 79 different categories, spanning Dining, Culture & Nightlife, Services, Shopping, Sports, and Outdoors & Fitness. Basically, anything and everything that’s worth doing in Denver. (Check out last year’s winners here.) Your vote could be responsible for someone enjoying the best Chinese cuisine they’ve ever tasted, taking a hike that transforms their worldview, and finding the interior designer that finally turns their house into a home.

Voting ends March 16. Don’t miss your opportunity to shape the future of Denver and its citizens. Click on the image below to cast your ballot!