Cedar Key named state's Rural Community of Year

Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 10:22 p.m.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture has named Cedar Key as Florida's Rural Community of the Year, and while the award brings no financial prize, it is invaluable in promoting the island city to a new generation of tourists.

"The reason we are going hog wild playing up this thing is that if we can help get the word out about Cedar Key, then maybe we can bring some visitors who want to visit our businesses ... [and] spend some money during their visit," said Greg Lang, director of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency.

Federal agriculture officials plan to formally present the award on Feb. 3 and deliver a sign for the city to erect at the city limits.

In the application for the designation, city leaders pointed out the work done in recent years to improve the community.

For example, a parking lot was added for clam harvesters and other commercial fishermen in order to free up parking space for recreational boaters.

Andrea Dennison, who is coordinating the awards ceremony, said the application process was detailed and required confirming inspections by USDA representatives.

In a news release about the award, Cedar Key Mayor Sue Colson credited the residents for the designation.

"The diversity of our people is the key to our success," said Colson.

"We balance the protection of our abundant natural resources and our rich history. Tourists are attracted from all over the world who experience our unspoiled charm.

"This award is a great honor and a testament to the spirit of cooperation in our community," Colson said.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 outside City Hall and will be followed by a homemade-desserts social.

For more information about the event, contact Dennison at (352) 543-6313 or cedarkeyachieves@live.com.

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