From staff reports
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Morning broke early for two judges visiting Joplin for Rand McNally’s “Friendliest City” competiton.
Representatives of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau woke Jennifer Jordon and Robert Schatz early today for a sunrise hot air balloon lift over Shoal Creek Valley.
With no time to waste on their two-day visit to Joplin, the judges proceeded to City Hall for a welcome from city officials. They are currently touring the Joplin Museum Complex.
Jordon said their trip is “kind of work, kind of fun and kind of adventure all rolled up in one.”
Mapmaker Rand McNally is looking at Joplin as a contender for the nation’s friendliest city title. The city is one of six finalists in the Rand McNally/USA Today “Best of the Road” contest.