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Rally judges to score city’s patriotism


The city of Watertown has been nominated as one of the country’s most patriotic towns for the 2012 Road Rally competition hosted by Rand McNally, and a team of judges will visit Saturday and Sunday to decide whether the community deserves to win the top prize.

To be named “most patriotic,” Watertown will compete against Deland, Fla., Mandan, N.D., Enterprise, Ala., Duluth, Ga., and Gainesville, Texas. The team of judges, who will be dressed in red outfits, will visit a handful of popular landmarks in the city to assess its community pride.

The competition kicks off today in Washington, D.C., where teams of judges for five different categories will travel to communities across the country over the next month.

Watertown received 176 votes as the most patriotic town to advance in the Road Rally, rising above a field of competition including 700 towns that garnered a total of 20,000 votes. To be announced mid-July, the winner of the competition will be featured as a patriotic town in the 2014 Rand McNally Atlas. Other categories are most beautiful, friendliest, most fun and best for food.

Ashley N. Day, travel editor for Rand McNally, said Watertown residents are encouraged to welcome the two red-shirted judges if they’re spotted in town. The team will attend community activities and visit restaurants and businesses during the weekend. More information about judges and their itinerary is available at

Residents can boost the city’s score by getting involved in the effort as much as possible.

“Judges take into account all activities and review local businesses, so if people see a team they’re encouraged to welcome them,” Ms. Day said. “They’re also encouraged to tweet to the team and talk to them on Facebook.”

A film crew will be trailing the judges, and Watertown will be featured in a one-hour television special on the Travel Channel, which will air at 8 p.m. July 25.

And by doing everything they can to cheer Watertown to victory, residents have a chance to put the city on the national radar.

“It’s definitely national exposure for the town and local businesses, and it’s a great opportunity for the community to unite,” Ms. Day said.

The keyword to follow the judges on Facebook and Twitter is #BestoftheRoad.

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