Here we go again. But wait, there's more!
Indeed, the Siouxland's Choice Awards are back in action. Our annual readers poll -- sponsored this year by WinnaVegas Casino Resort -- has been a Weekender mainstay for years, but it's time for a change.
Every year we've released the same ol' ballots with the same ol' rules with only minor alterations to categories in hopes of spicing up and expanding the competition. While those changes certainly gave new winners a chance to gloat and brag and bask in the spotlight of their newly donned titles, the competition was ultimately stagnated by the same winners.
Staff members at The Weekender and Sioux City Journal decided to take a different approach this year's award season. Instead of making further changes to the categories, we've opted to rework the voting process altogether.
Now, the Siouxland's Choice Awards will undergo a two-week nomination period before the official voting begins. Physical and digital nomination ballots will be accepted Dec. 4-17 and will closely resemble previous Siouxland's Choice Awards processes.
Through this method, we will be able to correctly filter the top five nominees from each category. This will also allow us to figure out which categories have "sticking power" and can give us information to improve next year's ballots.
Readers will also notice a change to categories altogether. Groups have been shifted to a more linear structure while some categories have been grouped together to make way for the new voting process.
For instance, band categories were stretched thin in previous ballots. To address this, we decided to merge certain groups together to inspire competition among peers. That means country bands will duke it out against acoustic musicians, DJs will battle rappers and rock groups will take on metal bands for the title. And be prepared for new categories altogether like "Best Outlaw" and "Best Stampede."
After the nomination period, we'll take some time to tally up the votes to create the final ballot. Voters will have to decide between the five nominees listed Jan. 22-Feb. 4.
Winners for the Siouxland's Choice Awards 2018 will be announced in the last Weekender publication in February.