Two Local Towns In Running For National Recognition


How cool is the town you live in? There are 15 finalists in a national contest to be named the "Coolest Small Town in America." Among them are two area communities that may have what it takes to win.

LeClaire is on the list. The town is a top contender in Budget Travel magazine's online contest. Business owner Donna Walley nominated her community and is hoping for some great publicity for the river town.

"Hundreds and hundreds of towns were in this competition and we came out number seven in the first round of voting," said Donna Walley.

What she thinks makes it the coolest town are things like the water cruise, events like Tug Fest, and history of river pilots which is something that's commemorated in the concoctions at the Mississippi River Distilling Company. "There's a tremendously rich history of the river pilots that really helped settle this area and the theme of our company has really been as local as we can do it," said manager Garrett Burchett.

Budget travel got 924 nominations and nearly 97,000 votes in the first round to whittle the list down to the 15 coolest of the cool. Among them are Camden, Maine, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Flagler Beach, Florida, and Mount Carroll, another local finalist.

The northwestern Illinois town of just over 1,700 people looks like Main Street, USA but is noted as "having something gleefully, well, off about the place." With its miniature horse farm and year-round haunted house. Mount Carroll is going to have some tough competition from folks back across the river and across the country.

Online voting wraps up in less than a month. Then they'll find out which town is crowned coolest. CLICK HERE for the online contest website.


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