Welcome to Top of the Town 2021

Presented by City Pulse and Fox 47



While the battle for superiority between Lansing’s varying people, places and things during the annual City Pulse Top of the Town Contest might not match the calamitous, world-shattering clashing of the godlike titans King Kong and Godzilla, it’s still quite an epic struggle. 

Yes, it’s that time of year again. We are calling on you once more to handpick Lansing’s best of the best, so City Pulse may create definitive rankings for just about everything our fine city has to offer. With expanded and updated categories, there’s more for you to choose from than ever before. That means your nominations, votes and participation is extra important this year. Not to inspire panic, but research shows that households that place nominations and vote in the Top of the Town Contest are much less prone to annihilation from 50-foot-tall behemoths. So, please take that into consideration. 

As the contest progresses and voters thin the herd, many showdowns will be arranged between popular fixtures in Lansing that will likely rival even the most legendary of monster mashups. King Kong versus Godzilla? How about Quality Dairy versus Horrocks? Ever wonder what would happen if the Meijer Giraffe fought the Lugnuts’ mascot Big Lug? Hollywood might not understand the devastation these battles would cause, but we know you do, Lansing.

How to participate

First off, you must visit LansingCityPulse.com/TOTT2021. There, you will find the contest’s homepage and you’ll be all set to vote. To begin voting, select any category. After you cast your first vote, enter your email address, name and ZIP code. Once you’ve done that, you will be able to continue voting.

Please note that all votes are submitted automatically. Once you’ve cast it — you’re done. Don’t worry about a second submission screen.  

If you need to stop and come back to your ballot or your Internet browser was closed, you can return to the site and continue voting exactly where you left off. Remember that you can always log out by clicking on your email address on the top left. When you are ready to resume voting, you can log in back in and get back to the contest.

As always, you can vote in as many (or as few) categories as your heart desires. Just remember to finish your ballot before midnight on Tuesday, Sept. 28. That should give you plenty of time to make even the most hair-splitting of decisions. The winners will advance to the second round, which will be announced on Wednesday, Oct. 13. 

Note: When you vote, you’ll see among those already nominated the top winners from 2020. That’s just our way of paying a tribute to the champs. You may vote for one of them or nominate your own choice.

Did Godzilla and King Kong smash your computer?

You can also send us your list of votes via snail mail to Suzi Smith at City Pulse, 1905 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing 48912. While you’re on the City Pulse website, make sure you sign up for our new and improved newsletter, which has gone through a growth spurt even more dramatic than the irradiated lizard that became Godzilla. Not sure if you’re signed up for it already? Enter your email address and we will sort it out for you and make sure you only get it once. 

Every vote counts

Each year, the City Pulse’s Top of the Town Contest seems to get more and more winners that were decided by literally a single vote. In 2020, there were countless categories that came down to a razor-thin margin. Not only that, but there were also even a handful of stalemates. This phenomenon happens time and time again, which can only mean one thing: Not enough of you are voting! Don’t let your voice go ignored. Your participation in this contest matters more than you think!

By the numbers

Thanks to City Pulse’s growing online presence, the Top of the Town Contest is larger than ever year after year. In 2020, despite — or perhaps because of — the pandemic, a record 10,192 people cast a record 220,790  votes. In some cases, they voted for businesses that did not survive COVID19. We even received votes from the ends of the Earth — from locations as far away as Japan and even some small towns in Australia. Either some of you took ill-advised vacations, or we’ve got international readers curious about life in Lansing.  Maybe we’ll have to start delivering papers there.

Showing some love

A wonderful part of City Pulse’s Top of the Town Contest has always been the Best People section. It’s been a great way to show recognition to those who keep our city up and running. After a long year marked by weeks and months of quarantining, we have finally been able to see our favorite people once again. If it felt nice to see your favorite bartender, bus driver, delivery person — or anybody else that regularly brings you a smile when you cross their path — make sure you give them a nod and enter their name as a nomination.

COVID remembrance 

After surviving 2020 and making it through most of 2021, it’s likely that many are feeling just as worn out as the poor people that must desperately sprint away from Godzilla’s nuclear breath or dodge the debris chucked by habitual skyscraper climber King Kong. 

Like the wanton destruction depicted on the silver screen in our favorite monster movies, Lansing experienced great loss of its own. Institutions that felt like a permanent and regular part of our daily lives fell victim to the dire economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. To honor what we lost, City Pulse has crafted a new category specific to this year’s Top of the Town Contest that pays tribute to those who were forced to close their doors during these trying times.

Large pothole on the road, on pedestrian crossing
Large pothole on the road, on pedestrian crossing

Our goofiest categories 

The Best Whatever section of City Pulse’s Top of the Town Contest has allowed us to poke some fun at many of the quirks of Lansing. The Worst Pothole has grown into a popular category and a cathartic opportunity to vent about the city’s roads, which are often in rough condition and littered with these pesky little concrete landmines. 

Another funny category is Best Ranch Dressing. Ranch is becoming widely recognized as a staple of Midwestern culture, so it only made sense for us to allow you the opportunity to recognize which local restaurant prepares the regional delicacy with the greatest of graces.

Also: If you can think of something funny to include in next year’s contest, be sure to place a nomination in the Best Category We Didn’t Of.

The newest Top of the Town section!

City Pulse loves keeping things green. The Lansterdam column by Kyle Kaminski has grown into a staple of the publication, and it has been providing readers with the inside scoop on the best cannabis products available in Greater Lansing. It only made sense to give the sweet leaf its very own special category. Now, you can nominate your favorite things about the booming local cannabis industry. Be forewarned, deciding your favorite provisioning center or budtender might prove more difficult than picking out a snack at a gas station while intergalactically stoned.



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