BUCKHANNON - Not only did Buckhannon make the top 15 in the first round of Budget Travel's Coolest Small Town Contest, but the rural city is currently in third place in the second and final round of voting.
Now, the only city in West Virginia to make the top 15 this year could use a little push into first place, Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Laura Meadows said this week. Anyone who wishes to vote can do so daily on the Budget Travel website. Every vote counts, and there are still 16 days remaining to bump Buckhannon up above Cazenovia, N.Y., currently in second place, and Berlin, Md., currently in the lead.
"If Buckhannon were named as the Coolest Small Town in America, we would be ecstatic," Meadows said. "Our community would receive amazing recognition that would highlight our local restaurants, specialty shops, annual events and our amazing small town atmosphere."
Fifteen top towns were selected after an initial round of voting where Buckhannon took and remained in first place.
The Budget Travel judges then selected the top 15 contenders, using the voting as a guide in their selection. Now, those 15 small towns across the United States are vying for exclusive bragging rights to be dubbed the coolest in 2014 by the hosting travel magazine.
"We were able to be in first place during the nomination phase to make it to the Top 15," Meadows said. "Now we need everyone to vote until Feb. 25, when the contest ends. This isn't just about Buckhannon, but about West Virginia. So even if someone isn't from Buckhannon, we hope people will vote for us to put the spotlight on the state."
Meadows said that at least three small towns in the state have won the contest in past years, including Fayetteville and Lewisburg.
"Having three to four 'Coolest Small Towns' in West Virginia would be such a great thing for the entire state," Meadows said. "We would generate a lot of positive press for West Virginia."
To vote for Buckhannon, visit www.budgettravel.com and click on the Coolest Small Town banner.
Contact Melissa Toothman by email firstname.lastname@example.org.