Rand McNally Names Kewanee Friendliest Small Town in America
Map publisher Rand McNally handed out its "Best of the Road" awards on October 8, 2013 and Kewanee, Illinois was designated as the friendliest small town in America for 2013.
The 2013 contest broke all prior records for online participation - including an overall increase in traffic by 45% vs. 2012 - engaging nearly 100,000 individuals who nominated nearly 1,200 towns.
Kewanee's nomination came in July shortly after hosting a four day meet during which over 200 wall muralists from around the globe descended on the community and painted 15 historically-themed murals throughout Kewanee's Downtown. The muralists, known as the Walldogs, were extremely impressed with Kewanee's friendliness and gratitude.
The nomination required two months of online voting, and for finalists such as Kewanee, the submission of a video and an essay highlighting Kewanee's attributes, along with a concerted social media campaign to attract the attention of the judges.
"We couldn't be more pleased with this win," said Kewanee Mayor Bruce Tossell. "This is a testament to the residents and their pride in Kewanee."
As the winner in its category, Kewanee will receive a free custom online travel guide and iPhone app developed by Rand McNally and powered by Best of the Road ®; be featured in Good Sam's Road Trip Planner, an online tool that helps road trippers organize and plan trips and stops along the way; and be featured in many of Rand McNally's travel products including RV GPS and the flagship Road Atlas.
Kewanee's final competitors in its category included Macon, Georgia; Bradenton, Florida; Murray, Kentucky (last year's winner); and Keokuk, Iowa.