Best of Chico 2023: Community

Cultivating good in Chico

Wildflower Music Festival (Photo by Ken Pordes)

Charitable Cause

FIRST Place: Butte Humane Society
13391 Garner Lane, 343-7917
Butte Humane Society is one of the oldest nonprofits in California, having provided humanitarian care to dogs, cats and other animals in our area since 1911. The organization provides a wide variety of services, including a veterinary clinic, pet re-homing, behavior and training resources, animal-assisted wellness visits and an animal fostering program. Butte Humane also assists low-income pet owners by providing a spay and neuter clinic with low-cost options and a pantry with pet food and supplies.
SECOND Place: Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT)
125 Mission Ranch Blvd., 399-3965
THIRD Place: Catalyst Domestic Violence Services
330 Wall St., Ste. 50, 800-895-8476

Community Event

FIRST Place: Saturday Chico Certified Farmers’ Market
Second & Wall streets, 893-3276
There’s no shortage of delicious, locally grown produce and eclectic, handmade goods offered at the Saturday farmers’ market put on by the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market. It’s a Chico tradition and family-friendly event that draws crowds of people every week.
SECOND Place: Wildflower Music Festival
Wildflower Open Classroom, 892-1676
THIRD Place (tie): Thursday Night Market
Downtown Chico, 345-6500
THIRD Place (tie): Woofstock
Butte Humane Society, 343-7917

Farmers’ Market Vendor

11630 Dairy Road, 680-4543
GRUB Community Supported Agriculture is motivated to provide local, healthy food to the community. In addition to its appearance at multiple farmers’ markets, the farm delivers fresh produce to local restaurants, offers a CSA membership program, and regularly donates produce to non-profit organizations that serve seniors, people with disabilities and the unhoused.
SECOND Place: Camina Bakery
THIRD Place: Burns Blossom Farm

Festival (Butte County)

FIRST Place: Wildflower Music Festival
End of Normal
It doesn’t get much better than The Brothers Comatose, John Craigie and Con Brio outside with food trucks, tons of kids activities and a huge cross-section of the community dancing in a grassy field (even if a quick downpour damped part of the day this years). This was the first year back (since pre-COVID) for the annual fundraiser for Wildflower Open Classroom.
SECOND Place: Woofstock
Butte Humane Society
THIRD Place: Oktoberfest
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Grub CSA

Golf Course – Regional

FIRST Place: Bidwell Park Golf Course
3199 Golf Course Road, 891-8417
The Bidwell Park Golf Course is Chico’s public course, nestled in the mouth of Big Chico Creek Canyon. In addition to its 18 holes, the 103-year-old municipal course features cart rentals, chipping greens, a pro shop and a clubhouse/restaurant.
SECOND Place: Butte Creek Country Club
175 Estates Drive, 343-7979
THIRD Place: Canyon Oaks Country Club
999 Yosemite Drive, 343-2582


FIRST Place: Sanjay Dev – Butte College
“Math is my passion and music is my salvation,” says Sanjay Dev. As a beloved math instructor at Butte College, as well as host of the popular “Devastation Sounds” reggae show on KZFR, the Nepal native is living his dreams here—and Chico is loving him in return. The same warmth and kindness that comes through the airwaves also informs his approach in the classroom, making him a Best of Chico regular.
SECOND Place: Neisa Schuler –
North State Ballet
THIRD Place: Christine Leistner –
Chico State

Local Personality

FIRST Place: Mike “G-Ride” Griffith
G-Ride Pedi-Cab & Trolley
It’s impossible to miss Mike “G-Ride” Griffith and his rockin’ pedi-cab when venturing into downtown Chico. This Best of Chico Living Legend is known for his friendly demeanor, his little dog and co-pilot Little G, and his dedication to the community, especially in helping with fundraising for and bringing awareness to the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Foundation.
SECOND Place: Linda Watkins-Bennett
Action News Now anchor and producer
THIRD Place: Grandmaster Farshad Azad
Azad’s Martial Arts

Place For Family Fun

FIRST Place: Bidwell Park
Bidwell Park is the boss! It’s hard to compete with its array of hiking, running and mountain-biking trails, picnic areas and swimming holes. The 3,670-acre municipal refuge offers the whimsical playground Caper Acres, fishing at Horseshoe Lake, horseback riding opportunities, stargazing at the Chico Community Observatory, swimming at Sycamore Pool, many picnic and barbecue spots perfect for birthdays and other get-togethers, and settings beneath shady trees nurturing quiet contemplation.
SECOND Place: FunLand/Cal Skate Chico
2465 Carmichael Dr., 343-1601
THIRD Place: Rare Air Trampoline Park
1090 E. 20th St., 433-5557

Place To Pray/Meditate

FIRST Place: Bidwell Park
See Place For Family Fun.
SECOND Place: Center for Spiritual Living Chico
14 Hillary Lane, 895-8395
THIRD Place: Bidwell Presbyterian Church
208 W. First St., 343-1484

Radio Station

90.1 FM,
KZFR is community radio, and chances are that’s why The Mighty Zephyr gets your votes every year. It’s been a platform for Butte County for 33 years with a variety of shows covering topics such as public affairs, peace and social justice, environmental issues, local music and an eclectic range of themed music programs, including jazz, reggae, Native American, folk, Zydeco, Celtic and more. KZFR is also a nonprofit and active participant in community, promoting frequent concerts at the Chico Women’s Club.
SECOND Place: Z-Rock
106.7 FM,
THIRD Place: The Blaze
103.5 FM,

Teacher (K-12)

FIRST Place: Kate Carlisle – Sierra View Elementary
A fourth-grade teacher who inspires her students and their parents, Kate Carlisle got top marks from Best of Chico voters.
SECOND Place: Margie Werner – Little Chico Creek Elementary
THIRD Place: Colleen Taylor – Chico Jr. High

Mike “G-Ride” Griffith


FIRST Place: Tom McClain (aka Mr. Tom)
Little Chico Creek Elementary science volunteer.
SECOND Place: Farshad Azad
Thanksgiving Basket Brigade, Gimme-Some-Sole shoe drive
THIRD Place (tie): Shelly Rogers
Animal foster mama extraordinaire; volunteer for Bidwell Wildlife Rehabilitation
THIRD Place (tie): Charles Withuhn
North State Shelter Team

Youth Organization

FIRST Place: Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley
601 Wall St., 899-0335
The nonprofit Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley was founded in 1995 to “inspire and enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible, productive and caring citizens.” Today, the organization serves more than 2,000 children and teens, ages 6-18, across 10 locations in Butte and Glenn counties—offering a variety of educational and mentorship programs in areas such as academics, health and wellness, and character and leadership.
SECOND Place: Chico Area Recreation & Park District (CARD)
545 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-4711
THIRD Place: Youth for Change
260 Cohasset Road, Ste. 120, 877-1965, 877-8187

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