Team Two for the Road has arrived with a cadre of cameras and a surprising amount of energy after covering hundreds of miles and seemingly as many tourist destinations since pulling out ofWashington, D.C., over the weekend.
About 80 guests greeted Nikki and Dusty Green, who will be in Danville until Thursday as part of the Rand McNally-USA Today Best of the Road Rally, during a party Tuesday at McDowell House.
The couple, who had just pulled in from their first stop in Jim Thorpe, Pa., are helping decide if Danville will be named the most beautiful small town in the country and be featured in products and publications, including the 2014 Rand McNally Road Atlas.
After the Greens arrived Tuesday afternoon, local leaders took them to at Traveler’s Rest — technically in Lincoln County but also the home of Kentucky’s first and fifth governor, Isaac Shelby — where owners David and Roseann Downey hosted a three course meal provided by Marksbury Farms. The team then went on to McDowell House for a garden party that included brass band music and local desserts and refreshments.
The Greens, who live most of the time in Austin, Texas, when they aren’t globe trotting, praised the sites, sounds and tastes they’ve taken in so far in Danville. However, they both had the same answer when asked what makes a beautiful town: the people.
They still have four other small towns to visit across America — Bardstown, Tybee Island, Ga., Sedona, Ariz., and Baker City, Ore. — and realize the natural and manmade backdrops won’t be created equal.
“More than the scenery, more than the physical aspects of each place, the beauty of the town is the people,” Dusty said. “That is really the criteria we are using.”
Today’s schedule tentatively includes walking tours of Danville’s downtown historic sites, a trip to Perryville and more food and drinks at local restaurants and another get-together featuring local fare. The schedule is subject to change because of the short amount of time the Greens will have at each stop and the fact they are being filmed for television and an online video series, which should make them easy to spot while they are in town.
The Greens are being documented by a crew working for the Travel Channel, which also is shooting footage for a CBS special to be aired after the results are announced in late July. The aptly named RV Video Crew also is also producing video content about Danville for the Internet.
Filming went on mostly around the margins of the party Tuesday evening, except for when the crowd was let in on some behind-the-scenes television slight of hand. Although the winning town won’t be announced until July, those in attendance were asked to celebrate for the cameras as if Danville was chosen for a shot that will be filed away just in case.
The couple also are being asked to document their trip along the way and stand to win $10,000 if they can impress judges with a presentation once they reach Seattle. They are aware of the importance their work will hold for helping the places they visit get some hard-to-duplicate exposure.
“It has been a whirlwind so far but so worth it,” Nikki said. “This program, what Rand McNally does with Best of the Road, is wonderful to us. We were both small-town kids.”