"Best of" and "favorite" contests are often pretty lame, with people cramming ballot boxes, often online, with their votes. I'm not sure these awards really say anything about actual quality.
But sometimes such a contest actually gets it right. That may be the case with the "America's Favorite Farmers Market" contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust. The Davis Farmers Market won first place in the "large" category. The Davis market is, indeed, excellent. It's not only a place to buy fresh produce straight from the farm but a gathering spot for residents to socialize and hang out.
It's a great atmosphere and yes, it's a popular market. But is it more popular than the one in Sacramento on Sunday mornings, which is almost always crammed with folks? Or the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. Don't think so. According to the contest, 3,032 voters said it was.
Nevertheless, this is good exposure for the Davis market, and for all farmers markets. In the end, I think that's what the contest was all about.
Now, I'm off to the Sacramento farmers market. For what it's worth, this one would be more popular with me if they had plenty more bike racks. The current little rack holds about five bikes. Often, I see 40 to 50 bikes locked to various stationary objects all over the property.