Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Hammondsport "Coolest Small Town" Celebration

Hammondsport Celebration

Hammondsport (WENY) -- "I grew up here," said Christina Rinnert, a Hammondsport resident. "I was gone for about 20 years, and I came back about eight years ago, and it's just a really great place to be."

Hammondport really is great place to be -- the coolest to be exact, thanks to a Budget Travel Magazine contest. After a nationwide online vote, the Finger Lakes destination was named the Coolest Small Town in America, tying with Beaufort, North Carolina.

"Hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, boating of course, lots of outdoor sports," said Brett Steeves, Chamber Of Commerce President. "The wineries are world class. There are so many you could never actually visit them all. The dining is so diverse, I don't think there's anything we don't have."

So with plenty to do and celebrate, the town is kicking off festivities Saturday afternoon in Village Square with a parade, live entertainment, beer and wine gardens and a fireworks display at night.

"We just figured we'd come here and there wouldn't be anything extraordinary going on, we would just visit some place we've never been," said visitors Preston and Beth Dinkel. "There's all this stuff going on and there's actually things going on in neighboring communities as well, so I think it's going to turn out to be a really fun time, we're excited about it."

The title is expected to bring more publicity to Hammondsport and hopefully more visitors in the future to contribute to its economy.

peggy coleman, visitors bureau president. "We're also trying to take advantage of the fact that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Peggy Coleman, Visitors Bureau President. "We're never going to get to be designated the coolest town again, and we want to keep that title moving and meaningful."