Reader's Digest Reveals the "Best of America" -- From People to Watch to Must-Visit Towns -- In May Issue, and iPad App



Apr 12, 2011, 10:00 ET from Reader's Digest

NEW YORK, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Where can you find the best hot dogs in the USA? What are the best town names? Where are the nation's best natural vistas? What are the country's best eccentric competitions? Reader's Digest, known for simplifying and clarifying the topics that matter most to its readers, dedicates its May issue to the "Best of America."

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As Reader's Digest celebrates the "Best of America," the second phase of its "We Hear You America" online contest at continues through May 16, with a total of $7.5 million in financial and promotional support for towns and cities across the U.S.

"There is so much to celebrate in America, and in this challenging economic climate, it's important to remember the people, places and things that make our country so unique and wonderful," said Peggy Northrop, Global Editor-in-Chief, Reader's Digest. "In the 2011 edition of our annual 'Best of America' issue, we spotlight the natural beauty of our landscapes, the strength of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and, of course, our collective sense of humor.  Yes we even have mashed potato wrestling in the USA!"

Featured in this issue are the 10 prize-winning towns from the first round of cheering in the Reader's Digest "We Hear You America" contest, the national grassroots campaign providing financial and promotional support to American towns hurt by the recession. Complementing the online contest at that encourages people to "cheer" or vote for their towns in order to win "stimulus packages," is the 100 towns in 100 days RV tour, hosted by supermodel Niki Taylor, which began January 18 and continues through May 12, with the final stop in Manchester, NH. Many of the towns that hosted the RV tour are featured in the "Best of America" issue.

The next top 10 winning towns in this second phase of the contest, which began on March 8, and continues through May 16, will receive funds ranging from $10,000 to the Grand Prize of $40,000, plus promotional support through coverage in Reader's Digest outlets that include the 30 million-readership strong, flagship magazine, (with more than two million unique visitors each month), Reader's Digest Special Interest Publications and the new Reader's Digest iPad app.

Following are highlights from The Reader's Digest May 2011 Best of America issue available in the magazine, on and on the iPad app:

  • Best Cheering Section: Grand Marais, MI Grand Prize winner of the "We Hear You America" contest; Runners Up:  Fairbury, IL; Genoa, NE; Albion, MI; Ainsworth, NE; St. Johns, MI; Louisville, KY; Greensboro, NC; Manchester, NH; and Jacksonville, IL
  • Best People (includes): NYC's Rosie Perez (Best Art Teacher), Boise's Drew Johnson (Best Sojourner), Texas' Ryan McGuire (Best Wingman), Wyoming's Leola Didier (Sweetheart of the Rodeo), Salt Lake City's Emily Newman (Best Rescue Squad), and Chicago's Gabriel Levinson (Best Wheeler-Dealer)
  • Best Town Names – Find out where Mars Chunky, Looneyville, Jolly Dump, Monkey's Eyebrow, and Eek are located
  • Best Landscapes – Hint: They're in Arizona, Oregon, Utah and Washington state.
  • Best Spectacles – Unusual collections abound in Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Museum, Alexandria, VA.'s National Inventors Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City's National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, and Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum
  • Best Place to Work – Hint: It's in North Carolina
  • Best Hot Dogs – (Midwest) Gene & Judy's, River Grove, IL, (West) Aqui Con El Nene,  Tucson, AZ, (East) Flo's Hot Dogs, Cape Neddick, ME, and (South) Pulliam's Barbeque, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Best Throwdowns - World Championship Cow Chip Throw (Beaver, OK), Mashed Potato Wrestling (Barnesville, MN), West Virginia Roadkill Cook-Off (Marlinton, WV), National Hollerin' Contest (Spivey's Corner, NC), and Peter's Clam Bar Cherrystone Clam Eating World Championship (Island Park, NY)
  • Best "Green" Town – Greensburg, KS. When this Kansas farm town was destroyed by a tornado, the citizens voted to rebuild it as the most energy-conscious resource-savvy place in America

Highlights from Reader's Digest "Best" poll on Facebook featured in May issue:

  • Most Lovable College Mascot – #1) Purple Cow, Williams College; #2) Fighting Pickle, University of North Carolina School of the Arts; #3) The Blue Blob, Xavier University; #4) Peter the Anteater, University of California, Irvine
  • Coolest Car Names - #1) Ford Mustang, #2) Dodge Viper, #3) Corvette Stingray, #4) Plymouth Barracuda

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CONTACT: Karen Reynolds, Reader's Digest  646-293-6153
Sal Cataldi, Kaitlin Lindsey, Cataldi Public Relations 212-244-9797;

SOURCE Reader's Digest