Mandan Among Finalists for ‘Most Patriotic’ City in USA Today, Rand McNally Contest
Deck Out Businesses & Homes in Red, White & Blue
Mandan was announced as a finalist last week for “Most Patriotic City” in a “Best of the Road” contest sponsored by USA Today and Rand McNally. Six small town finalists were chosen in five categories by popular vote on the internet. Two-person teams will now visit the selected communities between June 15 and July 15. The teams’ findings will help determine category winners.
Mandan Independence Day Parade Chair Marlo Anderson initially nominated Mandan for the contest and campaigned for online votes. The contest now becomes real. Community leaders will learn after a June 15 contest kickoff in Washington, D.C. what team will be visiting Mandan and when. Anderson is hopeful the reviewers will visit Mandan during the annual Fourth of July celebration, but there are no guarantees. What he does know is that there will be a day of hosted activity and the reviewers will also wander the city on their own for a day.
Mayor Tim Helbling is proud Mandan is a finalist, noting, "The spirit of independence, a sense of patriotism and appreciation for our country's freedom shine bright in Mandan through our citizenry and community events."
Helbling and Anderson encourage Mandan businesses and residents to prepare for the contest by sprucing up properties, displaying the American flag and decorating in red, white and blue. Some additional ways businesses can show their patriotism in the month ahead include:
· decorating storefronts, yards and parking lots in red, white and blue,
· posting patriotic messages on business signs,
· playing patriotic music,
· exhibiting patriotic photos or artwork on business walls,
· inviting employees to wear patriotic colors,
· holding a youth essay or poster contest on patriotism,
· providing patriotic promotional items to customers, and
· preparing a float for the Mandan Independence Day parade.
Comments submitted by voters in the “Best of the Road” contest as to why Mandan should be considered as one of the most patriotic cities included numerous references to the Mandan Rodeo Days celebration over the Fourth of July, which includes an Independence Day Parade and evening fireworks display choreographed to patriotic music. July 3 is Patriot Night at the Mandan Rodeo with proceeds from fundraisers conducted each year donated to charities that support soldiers and veterans.
Mandan’s Main Street is adorned with red, white and blue streamers and banners during the summer. One reviewer said, “You can't go a block without seeing an American flag flying proudly in someone’s yard.”
The Liberty Memorial Bridge spans the Missouri River to the east with the Richard Longfellow Park established on the Mandan banks to honor one of the community’s first veterans. Mandan is also home to the N.D. Veteran’s Cemetery.
Other nominees for the most patriotic city are Watertown, N.Y.; Deland, Fla.; Enterprise, Ala.; Duluth, Ga.; and Gainesville, Texas.
Over four weeks, the contest hosts will post blogs and reviews, videos and photos by their official traveling teams at http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012-road-rally-finalists.
The 2012 Best Small Towns in America features finalists in an additional four categories of Most Beautiful, Best for Food, Friendliest, and Most Fun.
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