Zac and Cat Romiski of Joint Base Lewis-McChord cut lavender for the first time at The Lavender Connection in July 2018. Lavender farms are likely a big part of why Sequim was nominated for USA Today’s online contest for “Best Small Town Cultural Scene.” Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Zac and Cat Romiski of Joint Base Lewis-McChord cut lavender for the first time at The Lavender Connection in July 2018. Lavender farms are likely a big part of why Sequim was nominated for USA Today’s online contest for “Best Small Town Cultural Scene.” Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

USA Today nominates Sequim for ‘Best Small Town For Shopping’ and ‘Cultural Scene’

Sequim may capture national attention once again thanks to USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards.

This year, the city received nominations for “Best Small Town for Shopping” and “Best Small Town Cultural Scene” from a panel of travel writers and bloggers.

In 2017, Sequim won “Best Northwestern Small Town” over cities from six states, and came in third for “Best Small Town for Shopping” last year.

Locals and fans of Sequim are encouraged to vote daily on the awards through May 6 at www.10best.com/awards/travel/.

Winners are announced on Friday, May 17.

For each category, Sequim competes against 19 other cities/towns across the nation.

As of Tuesday morning, Sequim is in first place for “Best Small Town for Shopping” against 19 other cities/towns with populations at or less than 25,000 residents.

Panelists say these cities/towns are “perfect destinations for some retail therapy,” with eclectic boutiques, art galleries, antiques stores and farmers markets as examples for shopping.

The closest competitor is Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.

For “Best Small Town Cultural Scene” with a population of no more than 30,000, Sequim is in third place behind Traverse City, Mich., in second place, and Doylestown, Penn. The closest competitor is Solana Beach, Calif.

Cities with the best cultural scene host museums, art galleries, performing arts and busy event calendars, panelists say.

For both categories, Sequim is described as “an old mill town on the Olympic Peninsula (that) enjoys a walkable downtown filled with gift shops and cafes, and punctuated by a historic grain elevator. This unusually sunny small town (at least by Washington standards) is famous for succulent Dungeness crab, as well as the fields of fragrant lavender at its outskirts.”

Previously, Barbara Hanna, the City of Sequim’s communications and marketing director, said the contests helped with marketing and served as a nod to local merchants.

Business leaders agreed saying it helped serve as a boost for businesses.

Look for updates on the contest with the City of Sequim via www.sequimwa.gov or its Facebook page or Twitter page.

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