Austin was given this moniker in 1991 by Blues musician Lillian Standfield. One night she was returning home from a gig in Houston, saw a city limits sign, and thought the city needed a slogan to promote music. Given that music is a multi-million-dollar industry in Austin, the Board of Commerce readily adopted her idea.
Fort Payne, Alabama
According to The Hosiery Association, one out of every eight Americans who put on a pair of socks this morning will be wearing a pair made in Fort Payne, Alabama. The sock boom of Fort Payne began with the opening of the W.B. Davis Hosiery Mill in 1907. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, Fort Payne was producing half of all the socks worn in the entire world.
Le Mars, Iowa
Officially designated in 1994, Le Mars has been the home to Wells Enterprises Inc., makers of Blue Bunny brand ice cream, since the company’s founding by Fred H. Wells, Jr., in 1913. Today, more ice cream is produced in Le Mars, Iowa, by a single company than in any other city in the world.
Established as a tribute to the unique natural fuel source of the town’s early settlers, Beaver has hosted the World Cow Chip Throwing Championship every April since 1969.
Sheboygan’s celebration of America’s most mysterious pork sausage is called Bratwurst Days. The two-day festival is held annually on the first weekend in August. Connoisseurs come from all over to experience some of the industry’s newest brats, such as taco bratwurst, Cajun bratwurst, and jalapeño and cheddar bratwurst.
Known for growing watermelons and for holding several world records for the largest specimens ever grown, Hope also holds an annual watermelon festival every August.
Cedar Springs, Michigan
In 1936, a particularly bad winter inspired a New York columnist to write about America’s shortage of red flannels. But employees at a Cedar Springs newspaper knew of several merchants in Michigan’s lumberjack country selling the popular full-length woolen undergarments every day. They responded to the columnist with their own editorial, which was then picked up by a national news service. Overnight, orders started flooding in. Three years later Cedar Springs celebrated the first Red Flannel Day. The day is still celebrated to this day with a festival in September.
Groton got its nickname because off its long history with submarines: it is the home of the Electric Boat Corporation, the major contractor for US Navy submarines, as well as the home of SUBASE—the Navy’s Submarine Base New London.
Willow Creek, California
Six Rivers National Forest is partially housed in Willow Creek. The significance of this forest? It is where Roger Patterson and Roger Gimlin shot the now-famous film of Bigfoot in 1967. Willow Creek adopted the creature as their own and holds a festival in honor of it every year.
Albertville is home to the Mueller Company, which produces fire hydrants. To commemorate its one millionth fire hydrant, a chrome fire hydrant was installed outside the Albertville Chamber of Commerce.