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Nominate the 'best of Hillsboro'

What’s the best park in Hillsboro? Best playground? How about the best place to go — or thing to do — while on a date?

Hillsboro residents have a chance to nominate their favorites in six categories for the Best of Hillsboro Awards 2016.

On this year’s list are:

n Best Place to Hear Music

n Best Public Art

n Best Place to Volunteer

n Best Playground/Play Space for Children

n Best Park

n Best Date Idea

“The awards are meant to promote elements of the community that make Hillsboro a great place to live, and also give recognition to groups and businesses that make Hillsboro special,” said city spokesman Patrick Preston. “It’s a fun way for the public to participate and make it clear for someone new to the city what sets Hillsboro apart from anywhere else.”

Residents can nominate their favorites online at Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/Celebrate throughout May and June.

On July 1, the top five nominees in each category become finalists and move onto the last round of voting, which ends at the 12th annual Celebrate Hillsboro event, presented by Tuality Healthcare, on Saturday, July 16, in downtown Hillsboro. There, final votes can be submitted in-person via tablets at the city’s booth.

“Nominations are key right now,” Preston said. With more than 30 parks in the city, for example, “the emphasis is on making suggestions and creating awareness.”

Even being a finalist can prove beneficial by drawing more visitors, patrons or attendees, depending on the venue or event, Preston added.

Last year, awards were given to the Hillsboro Farmers’ Market in two categories: the best place to spend a weekend afternoon and the best place to take an out-of-town guest. Afterward, the Farmers’ Market organizers used the award opportunity in their future marketing campaigns.