FAQ: The 2021 Maggy Awards

It’s time for the Maggy Awards!

Cary Magazine‘s most popular feature, the awards generate lots of buzz and thousands of votes each year.

New to the Maggys? No worries!

We’ve put together this FAQ just for you.

What exactly are the Maggy Awards?

Think of them as readers’ choice awards. We began recognizing the Best of Western Wake in 2006, and the Maggys have grown every year since. The Maggy Award winners are published in the January/February issue of Cary Magazine each year.

Still confused? Check out the 2020 winners here.

How are the winners chosen?

The voting process will take place this year from Sept. 8 to Oct. 9, by online ballot. We ask readers to name their favorite people and places in 60-plus categories, which may change year by year. Those receiving the most votes in each category become the winners.

How can I suggest a category for next year’s ballot?

We revise the ballot every August to reflect the community support for each category. If you have a suggestion for the 2022 Maggy Awards, please shoot us an email at editor@carymagazine.com.

Are advertisers given precedence?

No. Winners are determined solely by reader votes.

But several winners are advertisers in the magazine.

True, some frequent advertisers are also recurrent Maggy Awards winners. Many businesses also choose to run “thank you” advertisements to show appreciation for our readers’ support.

Are local businesses given preference?

Yes! Year after year readers have encouraged us to feature more local businesses as Maggy Awards recipients. We recognize that local establishments likely don’t have the widespread recognition of national chains, so in order to honor those local-first requests, we ask readers to place their votes for locally-owned restaurants, shops and service providers.

Why are there still some national chains?

The ballot does include locally-owned franchises of national brands. We also include national brands that are based in North Carolina.

I disagree with one of the winners. I had a bad experience!

No business is perfect. Even the best are bound to have off days. Consider giving the winners another chance to redeem themselves.

I missed the voting process this year. How can I find out about it for future years?

Subscribe to our email newsletter and follow Cary Magazine on social media, so you won’t miss our announcements regarding the voting timetable.



  • Amy Lin says:

    Where is the category for best Caterer this year?

    • npardue says:

      Hi Amy – Every year we adjust the categories, sometimes adding categories and sometimes taking them out. Based on number of votes and other measures of reader interest, several categories were left out this year and catering was one of those. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope there are other categories that interest you. Thanks for taking part! – Editors

  • Jessica says:

    What towns are defined as western Wake county?

    • Amber Keister says:

      Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina. There are also a few businesses in Wake County or west Raleigh that we consider. For instance, Rey’s Restaurant has a Raleigh address, but is so close to Cary that it’s been a repeat winner for best steakhouse.

  • Rob says:

    How do you guys compensate for businesses that have more than 1 location? For example if someone has 5 locations and receives 200 votes in a given category and someone else has 1 location and receives 100 votes in the same category how do you level the playing field? Do you average out the votes per location?

    • Amber Keister says:

      The Maggy Awards are won based on number of votes. We don’t average out the votes per location.

  • Rob says:

    Thanks for the response Amber. That’s disappointing to hear; I thought for sure fairness would be a priority especially with such an emphasis being placed on local businesses. May I suggest that you consider making that small adjustment to the vote counting process for next year? This would be a very simple solution that I can’t imagine any business would oppose.

  • Abbie M. says:

    How can I go back and amend my response? I missed a category and then when I reached the end, I could not go back in.

    • Amber Keister says:

      Hi Abbie, there isn’t an easy fix, but I’ll email you directly, and we should be able to work out something. thanks for voting.
      Amber Keister, Senior Editor

  • Jill Kirby says:

    I want to vote for the Best Builder Category please
    My vote is for Jon Rufty!!!

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