Clap Your Hands and Say Woo Hoo!!

 

Southport named the Happiest Seaside Town –

BY JENNIFER BARNETT

Most of you are aware that our little seaside town, Southport, has been named the 2015 Happiest Seaside Town in America by Coastal Living Magazine! If this is news to you, I’m happy to keep you in the loop! You should try to get out more often but until then, let me tell you how it all went down.

In March of this year, Coastal Living Magazine (CLM) published a list of dream towns from past issues and asked readers to nominate the town they would choose as Happiest Seaside Town in America. CLM considered all these factors; National Gallup-Healthways Well- Being Index ranking, the health of the beaches, the percentage of sunny and clear days, commute times and walkability, standard of living and financial well-being of the locals and crime rates, etc. Then they factored in their editor’s assessment of the “coastal vibe” of each of the nominated towns.

Many of you are aware of the enthusiastic campaign led by a group of Southport’s finest to remind us to vote. It was an undertaking of epic proportions! There were block parties, on-line posts and even a video made with the town folks singing, “If you’re happy here in Southport, clap your hands!” If you missed it, you can view the video and the cast of characters at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqhDqZyxJTc&feature=youtu.be . It really does take a village and Southport residences are a tight community.

southport PHOTO

Southport is a caring, colorful community full of friendly people and gorgeous landscapes.  Between the fabulous restaurants, unique shops, coastal breezes and sparkling blue water Southport is steep in southern tradition and community spirit! This fact is not wasted on visitors and families moving to the area. I am a transplant from Kansas City and even though KC is a great town, the welcoming feeling I get from the people of Southport is unparalleled.

When CLM’s June Issue was set to launch they began, what I can only describe as a torturously slow countdown. They began with number ten and then each hour would release the next town on the list, slowly making their way up to number one. Needless to say I did not get any work done as I sat at my desk and clicked the refresh button on the Coastal Living Magazine’s website over and over and over again. Every hour I would trade text messages with my friends, family and co-workers until the final hour arrived. I can only imagine how it felt for all the local residents and business owners when the nation confirmed what they had known all along – Southport is a happy place!  I was proud to be in the company of such wonderful people. Working in the happiest seaside town in America is something I love to brag about, now more than ever.

Following the national recognition of winning “The Happiest Seaside Town in America” our little waterfront town is going to be a favorite destination of Americans far and near. (Those of course who don’t know about us already) With the influx of tourists and new residents I am looking forward to all the opportunities we will have to share our history and hospitality!

With summer in full swing and the 4th of July celebrations echoing in the streets it will be interesting to see how we all incorporate our new title into our lives. I know personally I am looking forward to wide eyed visitors, young and old, commenting on how lucky we are to be in Southport year round. Questions like,” What’s it like to live so close to the beach?” and “Did you meet any of the stars of Safe Haven when they were filming here?” will be asked a thousand times. I will smile and answer them gladly, each time. Of course in my mind (who am I kidding?) I will be thinking about quieter evenings and having dinner on the deck, somewhere, without having to wait an hour for seating!!

Having all of the publicity is a great thing for our community. There will, no doubt, be some growing pains but in the end things will only get better! Congratulations Southport! Every member of this community has earned the right to brag even louder, walk even taller and smile even brighter!  This year – The Happiest Seaside Town in America; Next year – The World!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Southport Area's Culture & Events Magazine