Most Patriotic Town in America
Gainesville Courthouse

Small Town Patriotism Prevails

Gainesville has been chosen "The Most Patriotic Small Town in America"
by Rand McNally and USA TODAY in the annual "Best of the Road" contest.

Gainesville was one of six final contestant communities from Florida to Washington State to be scrutinized personally by a two-person team that visited each town for a period of two full days for Rand McNally and USA Today's Best of the Road contest. The team, "Midlife Road Trip", comprised of two very nice judges, Rick Griffin and Sandi McKenna, began their journey in Washington, D.C., arrived in Gainesville July 2nd, spent their two days with us, then left for North Dakota and then the Seattle area. On July 17, we held our collective breath and gathered in the Civic Center for the announcement on a web stream; confidence was mixed with nerves and big hopes as we waited. The organizers, volunteers, staff and other members of the community erupted at the news - "WE WON!" and then everyone scattered to send e-mails, texts, phone calls, photos, website announcements and social media posts. Obviously, the judges, USA Today and Rand McNally were impressed and touched as they learned that Gainesville already had an important title: the only Medal of Honor Host City in the nation. Judges Rick and Sandi and their video and media crew were further impressed when two of our most supportive recipients, Don "Doc" Ballard and Kenneth Stumpf, along with his wife, Dorothy, greeted them and explained more about Gainesville's long connection with the nation's highest award for valor. They immediately saw that everything about Gainesville's patriotism is permanent, not something that is made public just on July 4th, November 11th and Memorial Day weekend. They saw immediate proof as they pulled off I-35 and drove past the sign that announced the site of Medal of Honor Park, which will last forever and bear the engraved names of all the American heroes who have chosen to come to Gainesville, Texas, where "patriotism is what we do." In fact, the offhand remark, "Patriotism, It's What We Do" has become our slogan for all Gainesville's efforts when it comes to duty, honor and country.

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About Gainesville

Located in Cooke County, Gainesville, Texas is a small town of just over 16,000 people near the Texas-Oklahoma border that thrives on values and a strong sense of community. Founded in 1850, Gainesville received its biggest boom in population during and after World War II. Camp Howze, an army infantry training camp, was established on the farm land and the amount of jobs from the construction of the site helped bring the area out of The Great Depression. Gainesville, Texas is now a popular tourist destination for patriotic travelers who want to experience the only Medal of Honor Host City in the country.

Best of the Road Videos

Best of the Road*A special thanks to Ben Willingham with Lost Dog Productions for his incredible videos.

Visit Gainesville

Located 60 miles north of Dallas, Downtown Gainesville is a town rich in history and known for specialty shopping and dining. Boutiques and shops offer a wide variety of goods and services including current fashions, works by local artists custom jewelry, antiques, home furnishings and décor and gifts of all kinds. All of this can be found in the restored Victorian buildings surrounding the beautiful restored Cooke County Courthouse square and the historic downtown district. In addition, visitors often clamor to notable sites in town like the Frank Buck Zoo, The Morton Museum and the Santa Fe Depot Museum. Gainesville is also home to North Central Texas College and is the only Medal of Honor Host City in the country.

Contact Karri at Aria with questions.