Everyone eagerly waiting to find out who won the 2020 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest will learn the results this week, according to the contest’s organizers.

The 15th annual contest, the largest of its kind on Long Island, celebrates dozens of categories ranging from a wide range of genres from arts and entertainment to weddings, with food and drink being among the fiercest competition. The list of winners will be found at bestoflongisland.com, where nominations for the 2021 contest are currently being accepted.

“You’ve got to test yourself against the best to know you are the best,” British soccer player Declan Rice famously said.

Hundreds of businesses, people, charities, and other entities faced off in the latest round of competition. Upon conclusion of the 75-day voting period on Dec. 15, the contest organizers began tallying the votes, weeding out fraudulent activity, and having an independent auditor certify the fairness and accuracy of the results so the winners can then tout their titles with confidence.

The popularity of the contest, which originated in the Long Island Press and is sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, continues to grow each year. There were once again more than 1 million votes cast last fall — nearly double the amount of ballots counted in the November elections in Nassau and Suffolk counties. And there was a 9 percent increase in registered voters from last year.

Those users cast their votes in dozens of categories, ranging from the long list of restaurant cuisines judged to the wide array of other business sectors the public ranked in the contest.

Now that the numbers have been crunched, winners can bask in their glory on March 24 at Chateau Briand in Carle Place. Tickets can be purchased at bestoflongisland.com.

And not unlike the presidential elections, voters were already looking ahead to the next contest as soon as the voting ended. Anyone who didn’t see their favorite business, person, or place on the ballot this time can nominate them in the 2021 Best of LI contest. Nominations are accepted through Aug. 31.

Supporters can then cast their votes next fall when the polls open again Oct. 1 through Dec. 15. Voters are allowed one vote per email address per day for each category. More information can be found at bestoflongisland.com.

Remember, these winners couldn’t be called “the best” without the hundreds of thousands of votes received. When it’s all over, it was Long Islanders, not the contest organizers, who awarded these honors to the local businesses that call Long Island home. 

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