Get out the vote Washington among finalists in contest to pick coolest towns

Published 12:07 pm Thursday, January 29, 2015

OK, you Washington lovers, pay attention.

You helped nominate the Original Washington as one of 15 finalists in the running to be chosen as one of America’s Coolest Small Towns. But being nominated is not enough. There’s more work to do.

The contest is a promotion by Budget Travel magazine. It is based on consumer input. The 10 top finishers will be announced in February.

Lynn Wingate, Washington’s tourism-development director, is urging Washington residents and anyone else to vote for Washington. The attention the city would receive by making the top-10 list would be invaluable, she said.

“It would mean fabulous exposure to a national audience that we otherwise be unable to reach without a significant investment, great publicity and certainly some additional name recognition and bragging rights,” Wingate said Wednesday.

Wingate lists the following details that Washington supporters need to know:

• You may vote once a day, per IP address. To vote, visit and click on the contest icon.

• Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are being monitored for activity about the contest. Tag photographs and posts with #ACST2015 or #littlewashngtonnc.

• Share this contest with friends, family members and co-workers. Anyone may vote for Washington.

• Voting ends Feb. 25.

The contest’s website includes a profile of each of the 15 nominated towns. The top 10 towns will be featured in an online feature and upcoming issue of Budget Travel. The other 14 contenders (in alphabetical order) are Allegan, Mich.; Berkeley Springs, W. Va.; Blanco, Texas; Chincoteague, Va.; Crested Butte, Colo.; Delhi, N.Y.; Fort Myers Beach, Fla.; Grand Marais, Minn.; Hillsborough, N.C.; Huron, Ohio; Ka’napali, Hawaii; Old Orchard Beach, Maine; Pismo Beach, Calif., and Snohomish, Wash.

As of Wednesday evening, Washington was in fifth place behind (in descending order from first place) Grand Marais, Chincoteague, Hillsborough and Fort Myers Beach.

The contest seeks towns with populations less than 10,000 people and “a certain something that no place has: great shops, food, a unique history, a breathtaking location, peerless music scene, art galleries or maybe something cool we haven’t thought of yet,” according to the Budget Travel website.

Berlin, Md., was America’s Coolest Small Town for 2014, according to the Budget Travel website.

To view current standings, visit,18/results



About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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