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Vote Now: 'Best of Rochester: The Re-entry Edition' 

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Something happened in Rochester around May. Or rather, a bunch of things started happening. Maybe it was June. The months remain a Blursday.

The point is, sometime in spring Rochester awoke from its pandemic-induced slumber and, suddenly, there was something to do every day and night of the week. Look no further than CITY’s calendar of events to see what we mean.

There was live music and theater. There was baseball. There were movies. There were dinners with friends, indoors and outdoors. There were summer camps for kids. There were baby showers and weddings. There was a reason to get dressed in the morning. Yeah, that reason was going to work, but still, it was . . . something.

The dam of pent-up energy began to burst when CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walenski said in May, “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

By the time Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a few weeks later, “It’s time to re-enter society,” Rochester had already burst through the atmosphere and was ablaze with activity.

The city was its old self: bustling, hot, beating. All the things to love about life and around Rochester were back. They hadn’t vanished. They were just in perfect hibernation, like Han Solo in carbon freeze.

Re-entry could not have come at a better time for CITY’s annual “Best of Rochester” readers’ poll, which is now open.

Now that you’ve had time to become reacquainted with all your favorite people, places, and things around town — and meet some new ones — celebrate them by casting a ballot here.

Consider voting a salute to everything that makes Rochester great and a service to those Rip Van Winkle readers who are groggily searching for that best burger, best happy hour, best band, and more.

This year, there are 110 ballot lines under six “Best of” categories — Arts & Entertainment, Food, Drink, Recreation, Services, and Who We Are. You don’t have to vote on every line to play, just the ones that speak to you.

In case you’ve forgotten how this works, this stage of the poll is the primary — and it’s all online. Pencil and paper are so pre-pandemic. All you have to do is key in your choice on a ballot line here. Primary voting is open until Aug. 20 at midnight

When this round is over, CITY staff will tally the thousands of votes and identify the finalists that will advance to the final round in September. We’ll remind you of that when the time comes.

Word to the wise: It’s not lost on us at CITY that some of you might be inclined to stuff the ballot box. You can try, but we have our ways of weeding you out. Oh yes, we have our ways.

Be sure to follow CITY on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for “Best of Rochester” updates. Tag us at #bestofroc.
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