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The votes are in, and Rapid City has been chosen as the Most Patriotic City during the inaugural Best of the Road Rally, hosted by and Rand McNally and USA Today.

"It's huge for Rapid City and is one more way of promoting our area to our visitors and also people who have perhaps never been here before," Michelle Lintz, executive director for the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau, said Thursday. "It's just very good for community."

Thirty top towns were chosen from more than 600 submissions and split into five categories: Most Beautiful, Most Patriotic, Friendliest, Most Fun and Best for Food.

Chris Staudinger and Tawny Clark visited the area earlier this month and toured Mount Rushmore, downtown Rapid City and Crazy Horse.

After compiling the photos and video, it was then up to the Best of the Road officials and the public to vote for their favorite town in each category via social media and on the Best of the Road website.

Staudinger and Clark described Rapid City on the Best of the Road website as a place where culture and patriotism are mixed together to form something different and dynamic.

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"The patriotism of this place extends beyond the military base there, or the veteran's support units. It transcends the historical societies. It picks up the story lines of the Native American and weaves them into our own," said Clark in the team's review of Rapid City.

Rand McNally, a publisher of road maps and travel guides, has a "Best of the Road" section in its atlas that includes suggested areas to visit, one of those being the "Most Patriotic."

Lintz said Rapid City, along with the winners in the other four categories, will also be recognized on the Best of the Road website and have an article written about it in USA TODAY.

Contact Hannah Baker at 394-8419 or

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