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Put-in-Bay battles for "Coolest Small Town" title

Tom Jackson • Jan 28, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Put-in-Bay is battling 14 other small communities in the U.S. in Budgettravel.com’s “America’s Coolest Small Towns 2013” contest. To win, Put-in-Bay will have to edge past competitors such as Lititz, Pa., and Elkhart Lake, Wisc.

The Register caught up with Maggie Beckford, executive director of the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, to see if she has any suggestions on which town to vote for.

“I’m thinking Put-in-Bay,” said Beckford, adding that north-central Ohio residents can vote once a day at budgettravel.com until the contest ends.

“Vote daily,” she said.

Last week, Put-in-Bay was in fourth place among the 15 competitors, with 7.3 percent of the vote. But there’s some work ahead if Put-in-Bay wants to catch up to first-place Lititz, which thus far has 21.8 percent.

This year’s bicentennial celebration of the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812 makes Put-in-Bay cooler than ever, Beckford said. Still, every year the town has attractions for all ages, including restaurants and bars featuring plenty of live entertainment.

“Some people call us the Key West of the North,” she said.

The chamber is using social media to campaign for votes, posting announcements on Facebook and Twitter, she said.

Lake Erie Shores and Islands is also trying to aid the campaign, said Larry Fletcher, executive director in Ottawa County.

“That’s pretty exciting,” Fletcher said. “With the social networking and the number of folks who follow our Twitter feed, and Facebook and Wordpress and all of the other sites we’ve been on, word will get out pretty quickly.

“We’re attending a lot of trade shows now, so we can talk it up,” he said.


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