Okay, here’s my #ABC50 and/or #ABCHuntington contribution. Good luck, H-town!
25 Super Cool Things About My Hometown
-Ritter Park has been ranked by Child Magazine as one of the ten nicest parks in the country.
-The city’s downtown arena, the Big Sandy Superstore Arena is, according to Venues Today, the , “11th top entertainment venue worldwide among venues with seating capacities between 5,001 and …10,000.” That same venue was also recently nominated for an Academy of Country Music Award for Venue of the Year (Medium capacity) for the second year in a row.
-Huntington offers a ton of free activities for kids, most notably the Huntington Museum of Art’s Saturday KidsArt program, which offers kids Pre-K through 5th grade free art classes every Saturday afternoon.
-Our area’s focus on fitness rivals many areas its size. From the PATH to Critical Mass to the Marshall marathon to the high number of 5K races (including the annual WV 5K Championship), and a YMCA that has basically tripled in size over the past two decades, Huntingtonians should be proud of the improvement made in this category.
-From musical theatre to Pulitzer Prize winning work to the best in children’s theatre, Huntington boasts a wide variety of stage works with something for everyone. It is rare for a weekend to go by without some play being brought to life for Tri-State audiences.
-How many communities can boast an amusement park among the many things to do? Not many. Huntington can. Camden Park!
-Be it Greek Fest or a Marshall football game day or a Halloween block party or a Hot Dog Fest, Huntingtonians are never at a loss for coming up with an excuse to party with their neighbors. Thousands turn out for these events and many, many more.
-Speaking of food, and we know good food, did you know that Cam’s Ham sandwich was ranked one of the Top 50 sandwiches in the USA, according to the Food Network’s “50 States, 50 Sandwiches”?
-While too many communities our size were tearing down their Keith Albee or Jeslyn theatres/performing arts centers, ours was focused on restoring them and ensuring the quality arts programming and educational outreach that comes from both.
-While many communities our size have let their downtowns die, ours has held on better than most with Pullman Square and other small businesses.
-A recent Movoto survey of 34 West Virginia cities ranked Huntington the ninth best place to live in the state. Two of the positives this piece pointed out was that our town has both the lowest cost of living and lowest student to teacher ratio of any other city in their top 10. (I would argue that either one of these most vital factors should bump us up to the top spot.)
-Becker’s Hospital Review recently ranked Cabell Huntington Hospital, one of the area’s largest employers, as one of the Top 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare in all of the United States.
-Cooking Light named The Wild Ramp as one of the Top 50 (out of over 8,000!) farmers’ markets in the country.
-Heritage Farm, a 25,000 square foot collection of Appalachian history, recently became West Virginia’s first Smithsonian Institution Affiliate.
-Marshall University has racked up a number of impressive accomplishments, including, but not limited to an award winning radio station, a top notch fine arts program, one of the best H.E.L.P. programs around, and a Forensic Science Graduate Program recently ranked #1 in the nation.
-Central City is not only on the National Register of Historic Places, but it’s also one of the most unique shopping outlets you’ll find.
-Huntington Prep has been ranked among the Top 10 basketball programs in the country. Current NBA player Andrew Wiggins, the top high school basketball player in the country in 2013, leads an impressive list of Express players.
-Huntington High School’s new Wellness Academy recently received national recognition in District Administration magazine.
-Huntington was named as one of 50 quarterfinalists (out of 347 communities evaluated) in the 2015 American’s Best Communities competition.
-Nationally renowned podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me and hit web series Things I Bought at Sheetz both have roots in Huntington.
-Calliope magazine’s 2013 Clown of the Year, Tom E. Boy, is a Huntington resident.
-According to the 2010 Census, Huntington’s population is on the rise for the first time in six decades.
-After two decades of sitting empty, Marshall University has filled the old downtown Stone and Thomas building with a state of the art visual arts center.
-According to Nielsen, in 2011 the Huntington-Charleston, WV area was the #1 market in the country for percentage of country music album sales…just four spots ahead of Nashville, TN.
-West end elementary school, Central City, hosts an awesome neighborhood Halloween parade every year that really brings the community together.
I could add more, but I’m tired and 25 seems like a good, solid number. We’re far from perfect. Of course, we have our problems. We’ve got a lot to be proud of, too. That’s what this is about.