Jan 24, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
In a field of nearly 500 nominations and thousands of votes from across the U.S., Cazenovia recently was named one of only 15 finalists in the Budget Travel 2014 Coolest Small Towns in America contest. Cazenovia is not only the only town in New York state to make it as a finalist, it is also the only town in all of New England with the next closest finalist in Maryland.
Budget Travel’s Coolest Small Towns annual contest looks for American towns with a population under 10,000 and, according to the Budget Travel website, a certain something that no place else has — a world-class food scene, jaw-dropping locale, great music, innovative art and the kind of community spirit that motivates supporters to take to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to propel their cool town to the top of the list. Nominations for the contest opened Oct. 9.
One longtime Cazenovia village resident, who asked not to be identified, said the minute she saw the contest she had to nominate Cazenovia.
“I’m a dedicated Cazenovian,” she said, and when she saw the town criteria for the contest she thought of all Cazenovia’s offerings like food at the Brae Loch, Brewster Inn and Lincklaen House; Lorenzo State Historic Site, the Franklin Car Trek, Fourth of July fireworks, the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, and so many others — “All the things that make Caz a distinct little village.”
She nominated Cazenovia, and her nomination garnered two more nominating comments and, ultimately, 111 total votes.
Other towns in New York state and the Central New York region also were nominated, including Canandaigua (40 votes), Cobleskill (69 votes), Cooperstown (75 votes), Hamilton (57 votes), Lake Placid (two votes) and Skaneateles (33 votes).
The Budget Travel editors ultimately looked at the number of votes each of the 461 nominated towns received, as well as a look for diversity in geography, attractions, architecture and other considerations, and selected Cazenovia as one of the final 15 towns in the contest.
The finalists description page on budgettravel.com states of Cazenovia: “If Central New York isn’t already on your travel radar, get ready for a big, and very pleasant, surprise! Cazenovia, on the shores of Cazenovia Lake, may make you feel like you’ve discovered the perfect small town you thought didn’t really exist.”
The other 11 finalists include: Berlin, Md.; Buckhannon, W.V.; Deadwood, S.D.; Elkin, N.C.; Estes Park, Colo.; Everglades City, Fla.; Galena, Ill.; Huntington Woods, Mich.; Kelleys Island, Ohio; Mathews, Va.; Nevada City, Calif.; Pahoa, Hawaii; Rockport, Texas; and Travelers Rest, S.C.
The news of Cazenovia’s selection was announced Jan. 22 during the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the Area event. “I just think this is the coolest thing that Cazenovia is one of 15 chosen,” said GCACC President Jessica Amidon.
Mayor Kurt Wheeler agreed: “I am delighted to see Cazenovia included as a finalist in the Budget Travel contest. The voting reveals on a broader stage what those of us locally already know; that Cazenovia is a special place to live, work or visit!”
Voting for the Coolest Small Town in America contest runs until Feb. 25. People may vote once a day every day, monitored by the Budget Travel voting system, which allows one vote per 24 hours per IP address. Buildings such as libraries, homes and offices may have only IP address for the whole network.
The 10 winners will be announced in February.
As of press time, Cazenovia was in fifth place.
For more information about the Coolest Small Towns in America contest and to vote, visit Budgettravel.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.