The town of Jonesborough is a top-five finalist in road atlas publisher Rand McNally’s online competition to locate the most patriotic town in America.
The online voting competition was launched in early August at www.bestoftheroad.com. Despite being nearly two weeks late in submitting its entry, Jonesborough garnered 111 votes, putting it in fifth place among five finalists in the Best of the Road’s Most Patriotic category.
Rand McNally announced the finalists Wednesday, advancing Jonesborough into the final round of judging, for which it must submit a video or photo tour of the town and an essay explaining why it should be declared the Most Patriotic Town on Rand McNally’s maps.
In addition to the creativity and presentation of the essay and visual tour, judging will be based on the finalists’ social media marketing efforts and on the number of online interactions, reviews and photos it receives at the Best of the Road website through the end of the competition. Winners will be announced in mid-October.
“I really think we’ve got a chance to win this and the prizes they’re giving. It literally gets our name on the map,” Jonesborough Main Street Director Melinda Copp said.
Winners in each of the competition’s five categories will receive a mention in Rand McNally’s 2013 road atlas, an iPod app designed by Rand McNally to provide a guided tour of their town and a online guided tour at the Best of the Road website.
“People can still go online and submit reviews and photos and we need people to go there,” Copp said. The town also has a large number of Facebook pages where all visits, likes, comments and shares made through the end of the competition will count.
Copp also cited a large number of patriotic points of pride in Jonesborough that could help the town come up a winner.
“We’ve got our Flag Committee that does great work keeping our (U.S.) flags up all over town, the things down at the museum in our veterans exhibit (and) the USO Show the Jonesborough Repertory Theater does. Jonesborough Days is a whole festival about the independence of our country. We have a wonderful Veterans Memorial.”
As the Best of the Road website puts it, “Clearly, America is passionate about its small towns.” On average, more than twice as many people as last year voted for their favorites in six contest categories: America’s Most Beautiful, Most Fun, Friendliest, Most Patriotic, Best for Food and Best for “Geocaching,” a treasure-hunting game using global positioning devices. There’s also a brand-new category for Best of the Road competition.
All total, 1,158 towns were nominated this year, up from 682 in the 2012 competition.
In addition to Jonesborough, the Most Patriotic finalists are Mandan, N.D., Gallup, N.M., Enterprise Ala., and Fairborn, Ohio. Gallup and Mandan, which placed first and second in the Most Patriotic Category with 3,555 and 3,446 votes, respectively, also placed fourth and fifth in the overall voting.
To help Jonesborough advance in the competition, visitors may go to the Best of the Road website, www.bestoftheroad.com, click on the “Most Patriotic” category, then click on Jonesborough and submit a review and photos. The town’s Facebook pages include the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, Main Street Jonesborough, Jonesborough Days, Jonesborough Repertory Theater, Jonesborough Farmers Market, Jonesborough Yarn Exchange, Wetlands Water Park and more.
“We’ve got all kinds of them and they all count,” Copp said.