We’re in the Finals: New Gloucester vs. Belfast as Down East magazine’s ‘Best Town’

We’ve done it again, neighbors. Here we are in the Finals—the Finals!—of Down East’s “Best Places to Live” competition, having vanquished friendly rival Calais in the semis. Now it’s just us and Belfast, which took out Farmington to win the other top spot.

As befits our Cinderella run, voting is open until just before the stroke of midnight on Monday January 17 at this link. But why wait? A nor’easter’s on the way for Monday. Let’s not take chances on the internet winking out at the worst possible moment. You can cast your utterly impartial vote here.

Did we mention the link to vote?

So, Belfast. We don’t claim much personal knowledge of Belfast (pop. 6,900). The only time we stopped there was years ago to check out Perry’s Nuthouse (motto: “Nuts, Curiosities, Fudge”). Still, Belfast looks lovely on its official website, with a fully rigged schooner on the waves and sailboats at anchor in the harbor.

Frankly, it’s tempting to think of Belfast vs. New Gloucester as a contest pitting the coast against the interior, Maine’s haves against its have-lesses. But we know better, don’t we? Those coastal communities, the Wiscassets, Camdens, Rockports, Bar Harbors, and the rest, don’t just look picturesque on a calendar. They’re economic engines that help power the state as a whole, lifting us all up. So thank you, Belfast, for tolerating your Route 1 tourist traffic on our behalf.

(Again, here’s the link for voting. It’ll take all of thirty seconds, people.)

Do we sound desperate? Maybe a little too invested? We admit we’d be quietly proud to see New Gloucester on the cover of Down East as we wait in the checkout line at the Gray Hannaford. (vote here) But really, we’re great with whatever happens. It’s been an honor to be included with all these other wonderful Maine communities. It’s been a terrific run. Unexpected. Fun.

See how calm we are here, as we take the high road? We’re already planning to continue being classy and magnanimous, win or lose.

But why not win?

Joanne Cole

P.S. Vote at this link by Monday January 17 at 11:59 pm.