WSJ: Beaufort tapped 'Happiest Seaside Town'

But some in another town contending for the Coastal Living magazine designation decide crown doesn't fit their head

May 4, 2013 

The city of Beaufort will be declared “America's Happiest Seaside Town" by Coastal Living magazine, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday — ironically, in an article about another community that vied for the title but didn’t seem to want it.

Sag Harbor, N.Y., an old whaling town on Long Island, was another of the magazine’s 10 finalists in a contest in which the winner was determined in online voting between January and March.

“Is Sag Harbor a happy place? No, Sag Harbor is not about happy,” Mia Grosjean, president of the preservationist organization Save Sag Harbor, told The Wall Street Journal. “Do we really want millions and millions of people here? Maybe Main Street would really like it, but would the residents like it? I am not sure.”

In the story’s final paragraph, The Wall Street Journal spilled the beans — Coastal Living confided that Beaufort will get the prize. One relieved Sag Harbor resident replied: “We are not going to have to print any smiley-face bumper stickers.”

Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling is happy to fire up the presses, however.

Contest rules allowed participants to vote once every hour. On social media and in his regular email newsletters, Keyserling encouraged residents to keep the mouse clicks coming. Many other organizations and people — including former Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce board chairman Jon Rembold, who was cited in The Wall Street Journal article — took to Facebook and other social media to encourage frequent voting.

“We’ll be delighted to win,” Keyserling said today during preparations for another event in which online voting plays a part — the parade and community concert for “American Idol” contestant Candice Glover of St. Helena Island.

Keyserling said he had not been notified by of the results by the magazine but had been expecting to hear something by the middle of this month.

The winner and list, ranked by votes, will be published in the June edition, according to the magazine’s website. A magazine spokeswoman said today that the winner will be announced Tuesday.

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