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Voting under way for magazine’s ‘Best Towns Ever'

Duluth News Tribune

ELY, Minn. -- Ely was bumped out by Spearfish, S.D., but Eau Claire is still in the running in Outside magazine's 2015 "Best Towns Ever" online competition, with voting in the third round underway

Ely defeated Saugatuck, Mich., in the opening round but lost to Spearfish, a town in the Black Hills, by less than 100 votes, 11,376 to 11,283, when voting closed Wednesday. Eau Claire managed to squeak a victory past Rapid City, S.D. by nabbing 50.33 percent of the vote.

The contest consists of several rounds of head-to-head competition lasting five days each, with the initial field of 64 communities growing smaller until just two towns remain. The final round of voting will last from May 29 to June 5. The winner will be featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine. To vote, go to

Duluth won last year's competition, but it — and other winners and runners-up from the past three years — were excluded this year "to make room for hidden gems, underdogs and towns on the rise," the magazine reported.