POINT PLEASANT — It’s an honor just to be nominated but the objective, at least for the City of Point Pleasant, is to win the national title of Best Small Town Cultural Scene.
The city is a contender in the 2019 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards, which is part of a contest recently launched and promoted by USA Today. Voters have four weeks to select 10 winners via a website with those “10Best” winners announced on May 17, then later on USA Today. Voting can happen once daily through the run of the contest which ends on Monday, May 6.
The contest states, “bigger isn’t always better” when it comes to the 20 small towns chosen to compete. According to the criteria, the towns were to each have a population fewer than 30,000 people and for what each lacks in size, the towns must make up for with a “big cultural punch – museum, art galleries, performing arts and busy event calendars.”
Point Pleasant was chosen as a finalist by a panel of experts including food and travel writers who have traveled the globe. The experts listed for the contest include, Marla Cimini, an award-winning writer with articles that have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, including USA Today and many others. She is co-author of the book, “A Century of Hospitality,” a historical exploration of US hotels. Deborah Fallows, a writer and linguist, who wrote a national best-selling book with her husband James, “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America.” Eric Grossman, a travel and food writer who has visited more than 50 countries. Anna Hider, a writer and social media manager for Roadtripers, a trip-planning site and app. Gerrish Lopez, a food and travel writer/photographer who has traveled from the tiny island of Lanai to large cities like Hong Kong and Mexico City.
Point Pleasant is competing against 19 other destinations, including: Doylestown, Pa.; Media, Pa.; Manayunk, Pa.; Traverse City, Mich.; Guthrie, Okla.; Easton, Md.; Paducah, Ky.; York, S.C.; Breaux Bridge, La.; Sequim, Wash.; Taos, N.M.; Highlands, N.C.; Tucumcari, N.M.; Tarpon Springs, Fla.; Staunton, Va.; Lenox, Mass.; Asbury Park, N.J.; Marfa, Texas; Solana Beach, Calif.
“We would love the support of the entire county and state to help our town win this recognition,” Vice Chair of the Mason County Tourism Committee Delyssa (Huffman) Edwards said. “We know just how unique our area is and how we truly deserve to be featured and talked about all over the United States. Any type of positive recognition we receive, the more possible tourism dollars it brings to our local economy.”
On the contest site, Point Pleasant is described as “located where the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers meet, the town of Point Pleasant is home of the Mothman – an urban legend – as well as a host of excellent festivals, including Bikes, BBQ & Bluegrass; the Country Fall Festival; Battle Days and of course, the world’s only Mothman Festival. This quaint small town also has a vibrant arts community that is the cornerstone of showcasing the area’s history – Fort Randolph, the Mansion House Museum and the West Virginia State Farm Museum.”
As of Friday afternoon, Point Pleasant was in second place out of the 20 total contenders, just behind Doylestown.
Click on the following link to cast your vote https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-cultural-scene-2019/
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.