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About Cascades Best

Cascades Best invites, engages and allows you, our audience, to recognize the best businesses, organizations and people in our area. Our focus is on businesses and professionals that support, serve and do business in Northwest Washington.

  • Do I Have to Register to Nominate or Vote?
    Nomination surveys require registration of basic information from the submitter for when we need to clarify an entry. We do offer you the opportunity to share your name and email with us so that we can keep you up to date on the program. You may submit your nominees in any given topic area and return to complete the survey any time before deadline. Registration may be necessary in the voting phase to promote fair voting. You may be asked for your name and email address.
  • When do Nominations and Voting start?
    Nominations and voting will take place online at
  • How Does Nominating Work?
    The nomination period begins at 12PM on Monday, February 12, 2024 and ends at 5PM on Friday, February 23. We rely on our audience to supply us with the names of outstanding people, businesses and establishments in each of the 190+ categories. Once the nominees are finalized, our audience is asked to vote on one choice in each category. Per our guidelines, you are allowed to nominate without limits and during voting, you can vote once every 24 hours. Our audience and business owners nominate their favorites by selecting one of 10 topic areas (Agriculture, Eat & Drink, Education, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Motors, Real Estate, Services, Shopping, Things to Do). Nominees should be individuals and businesses that serve Bellingham and the surrounding areas. Nominating is as simple as entering a name and city in text entry fields. It’s best, but not required, to provide additional information on the nominee so that we can verify them (Phone number, address, URL). You may return any time before 5PM Friday, February 23 to add nominations. Businesses with multiple locations will appear as a single nomination for the voting phase, unless otherwise specified by the business. Business associates and advertisers and any other owner-affiliated company are not given special treatment, including but not limited to our presenting sponsor. ​ Users are not required to nominate in all categories, but must submit the nomination form by hitting the "submit" button at the bottom of the page. Users are permitted to nominate a single business in more than one category.
  • Will Everyone that is Nominated be on the Ballot?
    For a category to qualify for the ballot, there must be a minimum of 4 separate businesses that are competing for votes. If a category is not qualifying, we will make reasonable accommodations to move the nominee to a similar category. Once a category is qualified, we will ballot each individual business that has been nominated.
  • I’ve Been Nominated, What is Required of Me?
    Businesses, organizations or individuals that are nominated by our audience will be placed on our ballot after they are verified. Should a business earn enough votes to be in the top three they may be required to complete a simple online questionnaire with basic business information including Name, Location(s), Year Established, Business Hours, Phone Number, Web Address (if any) and submit or make available a photo of the business, organization or individual. There is no cost or obligation to participate. Don't forget to download your free promotional assets to use on your website, social media, and place of business to help promote yourself to customers and friends as a nominee during the voting period!
  • Can I Vote by Paper or in Person?
    No. All nominations and voting are done through our website and links to our voting platform at
  • How are Votes Tabulated?
    The regular voting period begins at 12PM on Monday, March 18 and ends at 5PM on Friday, April 5. Nominations and votes are tabulated by a third-party. The Bellingham Herald and its affiliates do not know the results of the contest until after the votes are tabulated. In each category, our audience votes for their favorite nominee. You are permitted to vote in each category once per day. Businesses, institutions, individuals and schools are encouraged to promote the contest in order to gain nominations and/or votes. Competitive advertising, special offers, and campaigns are permitted; however, The Bellingham Herald at its sole discretion reserves the right to exclude from the competition any businesses or individuals that engage in activities intended to “rig” or “fix” the voting process. Votes that are suspect may be disqualified in the count. ​ Use of bots, robotic, repetitive, automatic, programmed, vote exchange websites, vote “farming”, scripts or other automated means designed to circumvent “one ballot per person per day” rule, are not allowed. Contestants discovered using these methods for vote acceleration are subject to suspected votes being disqualified without notice, and the jeopardy of the Contestant being completely disqualified and removed from the competition. ​ Business associates and advertisers and any other owner-affiliated company are not given special treatment, including but not limited to our presenting sponsor.
  • Can I “Write-In” a Business During Voting?
    All nominations have to be verified prior to being placed on the final ballot. During the nomination process, we welcome all submissions. ​ Our ballot is a closed ballot. However, we will consider late entries into an established category by request. All late entries must be received by Friday, March 29. All late entries must be emailed to for consideration.
  • When will Winners be Announced?
    The names of the winners will be posted and announced Sunday, June 30 on and honored in our Cascades Best special winners magazine. In the event of a tie in any category, more than one winner or runner-up may be awarded.
  • I'm a winner. How do I get the official winner logo?
    Cascades Best and the unique logos are the property of The Bellingham Herald and may only be used with express, written permission. Logos are licensed to winners at a marketing spend or direct payment of $1,295 or more. Cascades Best merchandise does not count toward the logo license spend. Contact us to request your winners logo:

Questions about Cascades Best can be directed to our support desk: These are the complete Official Rules. Cascades Best is produced by the The Bellingham Herald. Digital experience is powered by Content ©2024 The Bellingham Herald. Technology ©2024, part of NERUS Strategies LLC.

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