Lovell vying for ‘best small town’ honors

Lovell is one of eight communities in Wyoming being considered in a contest sponsored by mapmaker Rand McNally to find the Best Small Town in America.

The Rose Town is vying with Laramie, Cody, Sheridan, Jackson, Gillette, Centennial and Powell for “best small town” honors.

The voting is part of Rand McNally’s 2013 Best of the Road Contest. Voting can be done online at in six catetories: most beautiful, most fun, friendliest, most patriotic, best food and best for geocaching.

As of Tuesday night, Lovell had two votes in the friendliest category. Laramie had the most votes overall with 37 followed by Cody with 23, Sheridan with 20, Jackson 19, Gillette seven and Powell two.

Registration is required to vote, though no purchase is necessary. A person can vote once in a 24-hour period.

According to the contest rules, a “small town” is an individual city, municipality, town, township or village located in the 48 contiguous states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) with a population less than 150,000 according to the 2010 census. Voters must be legal U.S. residents at least 13 years old.

Voting began July 1 and continues through Sept. 3. Ten small towns in each category with the highest number of votes will proceed to the Category Finalist Selection Round, but no town will be selected in more than one category. Category finalists will be selected around Sept. 12, and a panel of judges will then rank the top five towns in each category according to the degree of “buzz” created on behalf of the town in online activity during the voting period. The five highest scoring towns in each category will then be designated as category finalists and will have an opportunity to submit a video or photo tour, as well as an essay, explaining why the town should be the winner of the category.

Winners will be announced Oct. 7 and will be featured in the 2015 Rand McNally Road Atlas and will receive a free custom iPhone app and an online travel guide for use by the winning small town.

by David Peck