|UPDATE: The following are times and locations on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, where CVB officials will be escorting the judges:|
9 a.m. - Joplin Museum Complex
1:45 p.m. -Cunningham Park & Pool
3:30 p.m. - Route 66 Carousel Park (free mini-golf from 2-5 p.m.)
6:30 p.m. - Joplin Athletic Complex/Wendell Redden Stadium for the Outlaws Basebal Game ($.50 hot dogs at the concession stand) Admission fees apply.
Rand Mcally and USA Today for the second consecutive year are teaming up for a contest called "Best of the Road. They chose a total of 30 towns from over 650 competing destinations with four finalists returning from the 2011 rally. Those selected then were divided into six vying for the best of five categories: friendliest, most beautiful, most fun, most patriotic and best food.
Joplin is among the towns chosen for "Friendliest." Joplin's competition is Cloudcroft, New Mexico; College Station, Texas; Frisco, Texas, Murray, Kentucky and San Luis Obispo, California. The 2011 inaugural winner in this category was Walla Walla, Washington.
Amateur travelers will be the judges for selecting the best of the best. As a team of two they were chosen on the basis of their enthusiasm for traveling and their creativity. The team of Rogue Riders will be judging the "Friendliest" category with their first stop Murray, Kentucky.
The Rogue Riders will be in Joplin for two days. On the first day they will be given a tour of the town by the Convention and Visitors Bureau. On the second day they will be on their own to seek out friendly places.
“We encourage everyone in our community to get involved as we host this team of two touring the City,” said Martha Getz, special events for the CVB. “We know that we’re a friendly city, and we continue to hear positive comments from the many volunteers who have been in our community this past year, now we want to show off that attribute and gain notoriety for the state of Missouri and the Midwest.”
If chosen the category winner, Joplin would be publicized as the "Friendliest City" in upcoming editions of Rand McNally atlases and travel publications and by USA Today, their dotcoms, GPS devices and blogs.
The nomination is considered "an incredible opportunity" to gain recognition and reach large audiences. Rolling out the welcome mat is considered of extreme importance. Everybody is encouraged to participate. For more information contact the Joplin CVB's website for postings of when you may visit with the judges.