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Voting for Southern Living magazine’s ‘South’s Best’ now open

July 31, 2018

The best of the South crown is up for grabs again.

Voting in Southern Living magazine’s “South’s Best” 2019 contest is now open.

“No one knows the South better than our Southern Living family, so cast your vote on the places that represent the best of Southern culture and hospitality,” the publication’s website reads.

Southern Living readers voted Aiken both the South’s best and friendliest small town in 2018.

“This town is a picture postcard waiting to happen, from the iconic archway of live oaks along South Boundary Avenue and serene Hopelands Gardens to the strong thoroughbreds you might see warming up in the early-morning light,” the magazine’s citywide examination reads.

More than 32,000 voters weighed in last year, according to Southern Living.

In March, Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon and other community leaders announced the “South’s Best” credential at a ceremony inside the Municipal Building. Together, they unveiled the April issue – exclusively featuring Aiken’s hallowed South Boundary Avenue oaks on the cover – and gave thankful speeches.

Southern Living magazines quickly sold out throughout the area, and banners proclaiming the City as the South’s best now hang throughout downtown.

Osbon believes the recognition has been wholly positive: for tourism, for local businesses, for City policy.

“It put Aiken even further on the map,” the mayor said.

J. David Jameson, the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, echoed what Osbon had to say.

“When you’re No. 1 on that list, it adds to people’s curiosity,” Jameson said, later adding: “Southern Living as a magazine is equivalent to the old Good Housekeeping seal of approval.”

On Monday, Osbon said Aiken can retain its “South’s Best” moniker for back-to-back years.

“We think we are the South’s best small town...” the mayor said. “I think it’s doable, and I’d encourage people who think the same to go online and vote.”

Votes can be submitted via a survey on the Southern Living website.

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