If Norman Rockwell were alive today, his paintings would feature Fords driving down Main Street while the drivers devoured hot dogs smothered in cheese, because you can't get more American than that. Americans are weirdly into their Main Streets. Nothing weird about cheese dogs, mind you. But to the point: there's an annual award for the best Main Street in America, and this year's results are in.
According to the annual Great Historic Main Street Contest, put on by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the best Main Streets in America are in Cape Girardeau, MO; Montclair, NJ; and Rawlins, WY. If you've never heard of these places, well, there's a reason: the biggest one, Cape Girardeau, only has 38,000 residents. It's most famous for being home to Southeast Missouri State University -- which you can only assume is the Harvard of Southeast Missouri.
The National Trust bases its Main Street awards on the criteria of atmosphere, the people who work to support Main Street, and of course, historical significance. An honorable mention this year went to Fond du Lac, WI, which was noted as “one to watch” for next year. Which is kinda weird -- do Main Streets really change all that much in 12 months?
According to USA Today, this year's winners were praised for their "great convergence of old and new,” as many of the creaking, old Victorians on each street are now being utilized to support modern art and the tech industry. America, if anything, is always evolving.
Check out out the archive of previous winners here.