- Story by Caitlin Bourgeois
USA TODAY “10 Best” section holds a variety of contests, but this one in particular is designed to promote the lifestyle of small towns across America – and Bay Saint Louis is in the running.
Each nominee for their “Favorite Coastal Small Town in America “ is a coastal town with a population under 25,000, according to the last census. The goal of the contest is to highlight towns that, according to USA Today, are uncrowded and affordable to live in. The towns range from seaside to lakeside.
The winner is determined by number of internet votes. Anyone, anywhere can vote for Bay St. Louis, and voters may vote once a day (click here to vote now!). Unlike many online voting contests, voters don’t have to register or submit personal information – one simply goes to the Bay St. Louis page and presses “vote.”
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When this contest was held in 2019, Bay Saint Louis took home the number 5 spot. The nominee with the most votes for best coastal small town in 2019 was Sandusky, Ohio.
After being named as the Best Place to Live in the state from Mississippi Magazine’s “Best of Mississippi” contest, the possibility of a nationwide win is exciting. Tish Haas Williams, executive director of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, knows that recognition is the best thing for the county’s small businesses.
“Over the past decade Bay St Louis has been recognized by many publications, including USA Today, for these well-deserved designations,” said Williams. “Those of us who live here already know we’re the best coastal town in the US. And the best thing we can do for our businesses is to let the world in on our little secret! All are welcome here.”
The contest will run until June 29, and voters are allowed to vote once a day until the deadline. The USA Today website has made it convenient for voters to simply click the link, click “Vote,” and view their choice’s current standing. No email entries deter voters from getting their town to the Number One spot.
The top ten towns will be announced on July 10 – still prime season for summer travels. A win from one of the best-read publications in the country would help Bay Saint Louis bounce back from COVID-19 closures and the beach closures caused by algae blooms in 2019.
With more exciting plans in the works for Bay Saint Louis this summer, clinching the Number One spot could bring lots of interest to the small town.
The Shoofly Magazine will be working all month to help publicize the contest and garner votes. Here’s our “How to Help BSL Take First Place” list:
- Set a reminder on your phone so you won’t forget to vote daily. It only takes a few moments.
- Bookmark the link to the Bay St. Louis voting page to make voting easier and faster (https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-coastal-small-town/bay-saint-louis-mississippi/).
- Share reminders once a week on Facebook. Just a little note like “don’t forget to vote,” or “You don’t have to live in Bay St. Louis to show us some love! Vote for BSL now!” followed by this link: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-coastal-small-town/bay-saint-louis-mississippi/
- Talk up the contest to co-workers, friends and civic groups. A first-place win would revive both local spirits and our economy.