BestofIndy 17

We heart Indianapolis for a million reasons, not just the ones on our annual Best of Indy poll. Aside from all the food, arts, music, and shopping, there are just tons of cool people, places and organizations that make this a great place to live. NUVO readers agree, and these are some of their favorite things about our shared hometown for 2017.

Best Local Neighborhood or Cultural District 2017: Fountain Square

Fountain Square has quickly become the place to be in Indianapolis. Whether you’re looking to dance your shoes off, imbibe on copious amounts of craft beer, chow down on delicious food, sift through buckets of records, take in a drag show, go duckpin bowling, or just have a damn good night, Fountain Square has you covered.  

Best Local House of Worship 2017: Unitarian Universalists Church

All are welcome at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis regardless of their race, religion, or sexuality, so it’s no wonder that it is the best house of worship winner. Located just near the Butler campus this church focuses on open hearts and open minds to lend healing and help to those in need through faith based services. They seek to be “a light in the world” and that’s a pretty noble cause in these troubled and dark times.

Best Local Place to Volunteer 2017: Humane Society of Indianapolis

If you’ve ever volunteered at the Humane Society you know exactly why they win this category year after year. Why, you ask? Because you get to spend hours upon hours in a building full of adorable kittens and puppies. Trust us, a few hours at the Humane Society can turn your whole week around.

Best Local Non-profit 2017: Humane Society

Did we mention that the Humane Society is full of adorable kittens and puppies? The Humane Society team does amazing work finding homes for all their occupants and we know firsthand just how rewarding it is when you walk out the doors with a newly adopted family member.

Best Local Charitable Event 2017: Mutt Strut

The Indianapolis 500 is known as the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The Mutt Strut is called the Greatest Spectacle in Dog Walking. Hoosiers love this event so much that not even Mother Nature (2017 Mutt Strut was canceled due to severe weather) could stop it from winning. And don’t worry, Mutt Strut will return to IMS in 2018.

Best Local Political Activist 2017: Satchuel Cole

Cole is the vice-president of Indy-based activist group Don’t Sleep, which aims to end all incidents of social injustice and political indifference. Cole and Don’t Sleep have played a key part in many of the rallies and marches that have taken place around Indy over the past year. Salute to Satchuel, who is constantly getting it done for Indy’s marginalized community. Indy needs more activists like you.

Best Local Professional Networking Group 2017: IndyHub

Winner of the category yet again this year is IndyHub. Founded in 2005 from a small series of meetings, IndyHub has become the premier networking group for young professionals in the Indy area. They do this from seeking to “attract, engage and motivate young professionals of all varieties to make Indianapolis an even greater place to live, work and play.” With the variety and benefits networking has never been easier for their community.

Best Local Radio Personality 2017: Smiley and the Morning Crew

Things that make mornings better: coffee, Smiley Morning Show, coffee — in that order. Nikki co-hosted Next Hop Model and she knocked it out of the park, a mic and her are a dangerously funny combo. Add in Producer Will Smiley and Toni and a case could be made for changing the show name to The Fantastic Four.

Best Local TV Station 2017: WISH-TV

After cleaning up in all the individual categories, it only makes sense that WISH would take home top honors in the team competition too. After all, this is three years running that you’ve voted ‘em best in the city.

Best Local TV Anchor or Reporter 2017: David Barras

What hasn’t Barras done at WISH during his more than three decades with the local TV station? Very little. He adds yet another Best of Indy win to his long list of accomplishments.

Best Local Sportscaster 2017: Anthony Calhoun

What hasn’t Barras done at WISH during his more than three decades with the local TV station? Very little. He adds yet another Best of Indy win to his long list of accomplishments.

Best Local Weatherperson 2017: Randy Ollis

Like everyone else on Planet Earth, we like to know whether Wednesday will be rainy and 58 degrees or sunny and 91 degrees. Or if it’s going to snow. Or if a tornado is headed right towards NUVO HQ. Thanks to weather people like Randy Ollis we know all these things. Thank you, Randy.

Best Local Radio Station 2017: WFYI

It’s where you go for your calmly-voiced assessments of Trump’s newest deranged tweet on All Things Considered, your favorite actor’s interview on Fresh Air, your sonic back massage on The Hearts of Space. What would we do without you, WFYI?

Best Local Amateur Sports Team 2017: Naptown Roller Derby

Roller derby is a sport that requires skill, grace and strength. And Naptown Girls have all of this and more. They don’t get paid but they have heart. You might want not to be glued to your smartphone lest you wander out onto the track by accident. Kaboom!  

Best Local Pro Sports Team 2017: Indy Eleven

While the future of its league is in question, “Indiana’s Team” solidified its place among the other top sports teams in the city by making it to the NASL Championship last season. On-field performance isn’t where it was last year, but that doesn’t mean support has lacked. Chants from the Brickyard Battalion can be heard all the way over in Fountain Square, or at least that’s what any good member would tell ya.

Best Local Athlete 2017: Tamika Catchings

She's not only a great ball player (formerly of the Indiana Fever) but maybe the greatest woman player of all time.  She's the winner of the WNBA championship among numerous other awards. She's also proprietor of Tea's Me Café. Who wouldn't want to have a cup of tea with Tamika Catchings?

Best Local Bike Trail/Lane 2017: Monon Trail

You can ride this trail all the way from Westfield to Downtown Indy, but be careful. Watch out for the occasional Lance Armstrong wannabe who passes at 40 m.p.h. between you and the woman pushing the baby stroller. Let’s all be safe out there.

Best Local Park/Greenspace 2017: 100 Acres at the IMA

This are few things that are free at the IMA at Newfields anymore, but the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park is one of them. You might find yourself feeling like Alice in Wonderland as you walk through the underground tunnel into Alfredo Jarr’s Park of the Laments.  But instead of playing croquet, bring a basketball and play some hoops in the Free Basket, designed and built by Los Carpinteros.

Best Local Twitter feed 2017: Pat McAfee

“Drank 3-5 nights a wk 4 5 yrs of my life, skydived, swam w/ sharks, etc..Being a Colts fan, might be the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done.” While punctuation might not be high on McAfee’s priority list, quality FREE entertainment is. And you know how much we love free things.

Best Local Instagram account 2017: Hotel Tango Cat

Hello Hoosiers, look at Fletcher Pickles on our cover. Now look at us. Now back at Pickles. Now back to us. Sadly, we’re not a cat. But if you start dropping into Hotel Tango on regular basis you can pet Pickles as often as he lets you.

Best Local Personality You'd Want to Drink With 2017: Pat McAfee

We saw this one coming from a mile away. While McAfee’s knees have given him problems throughout the years, his liver seems to be completely fine. These days, you can find the former Colts punter cracking jokes on a Barstool Sports podcast. We’re willing to bet a few beers that McAfee would be chock full of one-liners if he dropped by your kegger.

Best Local Personality You'd Want to Dine With 2017: Pat McAfee

Now that McAfee isn’t spending countless hours kicking balls into oblivion, he’s got plenty of time to cook up a casserole and don an ugly sweater at the neighborhood pitch-in.