If you have not heard yet, Cleveland was recently designated # 2 of “The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013” by Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian hired Esri, a geographic information services company to look at towns under 15,000 people and check them for a couple of dozen different cultural features or assets, such as museums, performance stages, parks, galleries, amusement parks and the like. Cleveland was selected as the second best in America behind Gettysburg, PA. As President of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for helping make this recognition possible.
Our town offers opportunities to enjoy great sports, music, food, art and other cultural amenities. We have one of the finest performing arts complexes in the state, a sculpture garden second to none, Delta State University’s Fine Arts, Academics and Athletics, a vital Park Commission, great restaurants, and world famous locally made pottery. The one thing I continue to tell people that truly sets our community apart is our people. You are the people that are determined to make us the best! We have known this, but now it looks like the rest of America is finding out. It was not luck that Cleveland was chosen to host the second Grammy Museum in the World. They saw not only our rich music history, but quickly saw that we had the people that were capable of making this museum work in the Mississippi Delta. And now the Smithsonian Magazine has objectively recognized Cleveland with this placement on their list.
Thank you for your hard work in making Cleveland and Bolivar County such a great place to live, thank you for making me so proud to represent you as the President of our Chamber of Commerce, and thank you for working so hard to make sure that we put our best foot forward when visitors come to see what we have known to be the truth; we are not just a different kind of Delta, but we are one of the best towns in America.