WESTPORT, Conn. -- Westport has won the bragging rights as the Connecticut's top destination by winning the state's fan favorite tourism contest in online voting, and it has a trio fifth-grade girls to thank for the honor.
First Selectman Jim Marpe announced Thursday that Westport had won the contest and Compo Beach was chosen as the top destination within the town.
The "Still Revolutionary Fan-Favorite Town of the Year" program was hosted by the Connecticut Office of Tourism. The awards were presented to Marpe during a live broadcast on FOX CT.
The video was created by three Westport fifth-graders -- Clara Holleman, Sydney Newman and Sutton Lindau. It was shot and edited by recent Staples High School graduate, Claudine Brantley. Marpe credited it with igniting momentum for Westport and helping to drive votes and participation in the program.
“I’m so proud of Clara, Sydney, Sutton and Claudine in making this informative and lively video. These young women were instrumental in having Westport achieve this honor," Marpe said.
"We appreciate the amazing job they did in identifying all those aspects of Westport that make it a wonderful place to visit and live. As all our citizens are well aware, Westport has so much to offer, our beaches and parks, historic landmarks, award-winning theaters and educational programs, the visual arts, shopping and restaurants.”
In the video, the girls take a tour of the various hotspots that make Westport special, all set to a mix of pop tunes.
The video featured more than 42 businesses, destinations and attractions within the town, as well as a cameo by Marpe, who encouraged people to cast their vote for Westport.
The girls, decked out in T-shirts that say "Everyone Loves a Westport Girl" in most of the scenes, make stops at the Levitt Pavilion, the MakerSpace at the Westport Public Library, Earthplace, the Westport Arts Center, the Longshore Golf Course, Sherwood Island State Park and Westport Country Playhouse.
The girls grab their shopping bags and stroll through downtown, grabbing treats at Saugatuck Sweets, Frosty Bear and the Coffee An' Donut Shop. They even try their hand at Kaia Yoga and hit the playground at Compo.
Selectman Avi Kaner, who used the town’s social media to encourage voting, said, “Our 4,000 Facebook followers came out strong supporting Clara, Sydney and Sutton. The excitement and town pride was palpable – thank you to everyone who came together to vote. ”
For capturing the most votes, Westport will receive:
- Advertising support from the Connecticut Office of Tourism
- National and in-state public relations support
- Editorial feature in the 2015 Official Connecticut Visitor’s Guide
- Weeklong social media feature across the Connecticut Office of Tourism’s social channels reaching an audience of more than 200,000
- Honorary plaque
Rounding out this year's Top 10 towns, in order, are:
- New London
Last year's winner was Guilford.