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Welcome to the Best of Orlando 2016 

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The polls are closed and the results are in. Once again, Orlando Weekly presents our celebration of the Best of Orlando.

It's hard to believe it's been 12 months since the last time we did this. And what a year it's been – at the risk of being a downer, it's been full of death, from local artists to music icons to, of course, the massacre at Pulse Nightclub. But in spite of the terrible events of June 12, Orlando has come out of this tragic year stronger and more united than ever before. The heartbreak and adversity brought out the best in all of us, and it's that beautiful fighting spirit we want to applaud.

Our Best of Orlando issue brings together our writers' and critics' picks with the voice of the city – and thousands upon thousands of you voted in our Best of Orlando readers poll this year. In this turbulent election year, it's nice to know that no matter who comes in first in this campaign, everybody wins.

So now that the people have spoken, it's time to kick back and enjoy the democracy! We'd like to congratulate all of the 2016 winners, say "nice campaign!" to those who didn't place this year, and commend your tireless poll workers:

Writers:
Gabrielle Cash, Monivette Cordeiro, Holly V. Kapherr, Faiyaz Kara, Seth Kubersky, Bao Le-Huu, Thaddeus McCollum, Rebecca McKay, Matthew Moyer, Brendan O'Connor, Richard Reep and Jessica Bryce Young worked tirelessly to uncover and signal-boost all the brilliant people, places and things we chose as 2016's Best of Orlando in our Writers' Picks.

You!
Thanks to everyone who voted in our Readers Poll, which is an annual snapshot of what Orlandoans see as the best of Orlando.

Designer and illustrator:
Editorial designer Chris Tobar Rodriguez not only laid out the 40 pages of this year's BOO, he worked with illustrator Ali Castro to commission our cover and section openers. See more of Ali's work at castroillustrates.com.

Photographer:
Rob Bartlett helped capture images of many of our writers' picks.

Fact-checkers:
Interns Jarleene Almenas and Bridgette Norris did their best to check everyone's work.

Digital content editor:
Colin Wolf had the Herculean task of wrangling it all onto our website.

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