Valley Sentinel’s 1st annual Best of the Lower Wisconsin River Valley reader poll now open

Welcome to the 1st Annual Best of the River Valley reader poll! Drawing inspiration from cities like Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee, we’re excited to facilitate this reader poll that showcases your voice in sharing the best of what our area has to offer to our community and those who visit it.

Best of the River Valley is not only a complement to existing guides that help community and newcomers alike navigate our area, but also a time to share where you believe the area is headed, what the area needs to focus on, and also a place to brag about your business or your favorite Old Fashioned, with a healthy competitive spirit.

More information and tools are available for businesses and those interested to share the poll and get out the word and drum up support for their favorites. But no funny business! Literally. Exchanging free or discounted goods and services for votes is prohibited.

This is YOUR poll, YOU decide the winners. If there are categories and questions you believe we should add, let us know and we will consider them for next year.

Best of the River Valley is an extension of our passion to build community and is one of many ideas that we hope will become a part of what makes our community so great. This is a trial run of something new, so please bear with us. In a normal year we might invite the community out to celebrate at the end of voting to announce winners, and while this year is not a normal year it doesn’t mean things come to a standstill. So stay tuned for updates. We’re excited to facilitate this big undertaking and see how it grows and changes year after year.

The poll will focus on the goings-on of the past year, from June 2020 to May 2021.


April 14 – April 28: Open nominations! (CLOSED). This is your time to share all your best choices for each category and question. Share your favorite place or thing.

May 5 – May 26: Polls open! (YOU ARE HERE) This is your time to vote on the nominations and help decide who or what wins each poll question. We’re working on the possibility of write-in options as well.

June 2: Winners announced! On or around this date, winners will be announced. We’re still ironing out the details of what this looks like and what sort of fancy certificates and such businesses get, but feel free to share your ideas!

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. This poll encompasses June 2020 – May 2021, use those dates to make your choices. If an event was cancelled due to COVID that is an annual event and likely to return, you may still vote for it or write it in.
  2. In general, unless stated as a regional question or it would otherwise be over-limiting, nominations are limited to a 10 mile radius of the Spring Green area. If regional or over-limited, feel free to nominate within Sauk, Richland and Iowa counties. Exceptions may be made where there are strong ties to the Valley.
  3. You do not need to fill out each category/question. Filling out the entire poll will take around 10 minutes. Feel free to fill in answers, popular answers may be added to the poll as options.
  4. YOU MUST BE A RESIDENT OF THE AREA OR HAVE STRONG TIES TO IT. YOU MAY ONLY VOTE ONCE. We will identify and eliminate fraudulent votes. Your vote will remain anonymous.