Best of Columbia 2016

ON THE COVER: Patient 1203 broke out of a lab on Two Notch Road so she could take over this year’s Free Times Best Of Columbia edition. She was rather insistent on being on the cover and visiting a few of the winners. Photo by John Carlos.

Free Times’ Best Of Columbia edition turns 27 this year, usually an age when most folks think about settling down, getting married and considering a long career.

Not us.

We’re hanging out with zombies. (Anyone who has visited our office in recent weeks knows what I’m talking about.)

Choosing an annual theme is part of the fun in producing the region’s most authoritative Best Of contest.

The other is seeing who our readers chose for awards ranging from the Best Place to Pick Up Guys to Best Mexican Restaurant to Best Hair Stylist to Biggest Media Hog (there’s an upset winner this year).

And our fun does not stop there. The Free Times staff uses their expertise about what’s happening around Columbia to share some of their favorites. (We really should livestream the meeting where we debate picks.)

So enjoy our zombified edition of Best Of Columbia featuring our cover model, Patient 1203, who was a junior State House staffer before she attended a state Senate subcommittee hearing in mid-April that horrified her youthful soul so much that she chose to join the living dead.

Use extreme caution if you see Patient 1203 stalking around, and move to the other side of the street. Otherwise, she will corner you and demand a contribution for the House race that she’s favored to win in November. — Andy Shain

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