Cazenovia takes second place in ‘Coolest Small Town in America’ contest

Budget Travel announced on Feb. 25 that Berlin, Md., had received the most votes and won the "Coolest Small Town in America" contest.

Budget Travel announced on Feb. 25 that Berlin, Md., had received the most votes and won the "Coolest Small Town in America" contest.

— It was an enthusiastic battle, but when the final votes were tallied Cazenovia came in second place by seven percentage points behind Berlin, Md., in the Budget Travel “Coolest Small Town in America” contest.

Budget Travel announced the contest winner at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.

According to the Budget Travel announcement, total votes cast were 137,819, with Berlin receiving 39,285 votes, or more than 28 percent of the votes among the 15 finalists. Cazenovia received just under 22 percent of the votes cast.

Cazenovia and Berlin were separated by only 2 percentage points for many weeks, and last week the mayors of the two towns spoke on the telephone and made a friendly wager on who would win. The prize is a growler of beer from one of the town’s local breweries — Burly Oak Brewery for Berlin and Empire Brewing Company for Cazenovia.

Once the contest winner was announced on Feb. 25, Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler sent an email to Berlin Mayor Gee Williams congratulating Berlin on its victory. Wheeler wrote:

“Congratulations to everyone in your community on your victory in the Budget Travel ‘America's Coolest Small Town’ contest! As we noted in our telephone conversation last week — win, lose or draw, the contest has been a lot of fun and a great source of civic pride for both towns.

“On behalf of everyone here in Cazenovia, I'd like to extend our heartfelt best wishes to you and everyone in Berlin. I look forward to visiting you and seeing your beautiful community first-hand in the next few months. I'm pleased to report that not only were our friends at Empire Farmstead Brewery, which will open in the Village of Cazenovia this year, delighted to participate but the Henneberg Brewing Company, which is operating in the Town of Cazenovia, also contacted me to join the challenge. I'll be pleased to bring you samples from both of our local craft brewers! I'll reach out to the other two elements of our local ‘beverage trail’ (The Harvest Moon Cidery at Critz Farms and the Owera Vineyard) and perhaps we can end up having a real celebration! I look forward to drinking a toast to a bright future for both of our ‘cool small towns.’

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