When Mayor Bill Jenks III found out that Rolla was in the lead as being named the friendliest town in Missouri as part of the 2013 Best Small Towns Contest, he wasn't surprised.
"This is a town where people wave to each other and greet each other on the street," said the mayor. "Neighbors help neighbors and people help each other in the community."
At the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce, Director of Tourism Aimee Campbell agreed.
"We like to say that Rolla has some of the big city amenities; but a small hometown atmosphere," she noted. " A lot of our locally owned businesses really get to know their customers. We hear from people that when you walk into a restaurant they know what you are having."
The contest is the brainchild of Rand McNally. This year marks the third year that the mapmaking company along with Good Sam and Geocaching have been in search for the best small towns in America.
Towns in America with populations under 150,000 were eligible to enter. Towns can win in one of six categories: Most Beautiful, Most Fun, Most Patriotic, Friendliest, Best Food and Best for Geocaching.
Voting began July 1 and ends Tuesday, Sept. 3. Winning towns will be announced Oct. 7.
" I will often get letters from people who commend our friendly police department," Jenks shared. "They will break down and our community is willing to step forward to help them."
Campbell added that she knows folks who spend their later years here because of the Rolla friendly spirit.
"People retire here because of our welcoming reputation. Especially. we hear from people who have been connected to Fort Leonard Wood in the past and they like it so much here."
With just a few days left in the voting, Mayor Jenks's message was clear.
"Vote early and vote often," he said.
To learn more about this contest and to cast your vote, visit www.bestoftheroad.com.