Flags, Food, and Fun!

CORNING, LEWISTON, and WATERTOWN, NY - Its official! The Rand McNally "Best of the Road" Rally will be visiting three New York towns within the next several weeks to determine whether they deserve a coveted spread in next year's Rand McNally Road Atlas. Watertown has been nominated for the "Most Patriotic" category, Lewiston for "Best for Food," and Corning for "Most Fun." Each town will pull out all the stops to prove why they deserve to win their category.

New York State towns prepare to show off the "Best of the Road"

When voting for the contest ended May 15, Watertown, Lewiston, and Corning were among the top six contenders in their categories, securing their places in the Road Rally. There were over 650 small towns nominated this year. The second-annual Road Rally will discover fantastic small towns across America and will determine whether they should be placed "on the map" in next year's Rand McNally Road Atlas.

Five Road Rally teams will meet in Washington, DC, this Friday (June 15) to find out which category they have been assigned. For example, the "Road Bros" could discover they've been assigned the category "Best for Food," in which case, they'll need to determine their route to visit the six towns nominated in that category. Other categories include Most Beautiful, Most Patriotic, and Friendliest. All teams end in Seattle, Wash., exactly one month from the start date (July 15).

For more information about the towns and teams, visit: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012-road-rally-finalists/

Flags: 1000 Islands' Watertown as "Most Patriotic"  

"Watertown will welcome the travel team and will, for two days, demonstrate the community's patriotism by showcasing the many events, services and products that are made available every day to soldiers and their families,". "The Best of the Road visitors will see how soldiers are treated by everyone from store keepers and food servers to local dignitaries and nonprofit service organizations. Community representatives will show the visitors the many stores, diners and businesses in Watertown where soldiers are thanked daily for their service. The visitors will also go on post to see how soldiers make their living in Northern New York."

Food: Niagara County's Lewiston as "Best for Food"

"The grassroots effort in Lewiston, NY exemplifies the spirit of Niagara USA," said John Percy, President & CEO of Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation (NTCC). "With 26 small business eateries within a 15-block radius; including Carmelo's, a farm-to-table restaurant, Lewiston truly is Best for Food in the USA. The Road Rally judges will surely get a taste of something special when they visit."

Fun: Finger Lakes' Corning as "Most Fun"

"We're excited to show the Road Rally team all the fun things visitors can do in Corning every day," said Peggy Coleman, President of the Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau. "The team will be able to make their own glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, something you really can't do many places in the world. We're also planning to show them that Corning really acts as the gateway to so much fun in the whole Finger Lakes Region."

Over the four-week period, the Road Rally teams will write blogs and reviews, shoot videos from the road, and post pictures of the small towns they visit, allowing us to come along for the ride. On July 16, the winners will be determined. One team will win $10,000, and one town in each category will receive a spread in next year's Rand McNally Road Atlas.

There is a very special additional aspect for all the towns involved in this second annual Road Rally: coverage from the Travel Channel. Rand McNally, which partners with USA Today, has contracted with the Travel Channel to do a 1-hour special on the Road Rally and the towns it visits. It will highlight the best that small-town America has to offer. The special will air at 8 p.m. on July 25.

The mission of the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation (NTCC) is to expand the economic prosperity of the Niagara USA communities by generating individual and group visitation.

The Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau was established in 1994. As Steuben County's official tourism marketing agency, our mission is to aggressively promote the visitor industry year-round and thereby stimulate economic growth. Steuben County is home to the World's Most Beautiful Wine Region (Budget Travel), America's Coolest Small Town: Hammondsport (Budget Travel), and one of the Most Fun Small Towns: Corning (Rand McNally). It has also been recognized as a top value destination (ShermansTravel).

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