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Wisconsin Parent

West Bend, Wisconsin: Finalist in Best Small Town for Geocaching, Best of the Road Contest

Sep 18, 2013 09:26PM ● By Julie Henning
One of our favorite hobbies here at Wisconsin Parent is the high-tech outdoor treasure hunt known as geocaching. Not only is it free, geocaching gets us outdoors and doing something together as a family. Earlier this summer we wrote a story introducing the VISIT Milwaukee GeoTour, explaining a bit more about geocaching and how a city can use the sport to highlight the best features of a region or city.

If you geocache in Wisconsin (or the Midwest, for that matter), you may already know that the town of West Bend, Wisconsin has given itself the title: Geocaching Capitol of the Midwest™.

For the past six years, the folks at the West Bend Chamber of Commerce have partnered with the local geocaching community to host a geocaching mega event called the West Bend Cache Ba$h. Awarding cache and prizes and touting an impressive 1,260 caches within a 10-mile radius of downtown, the event draws in people from around the world—in order to classify as a mega event, over 500 geocachers must be in attendance at the event at the same time. On average, less than 40 mega events happen around the world in any given year and they can move from city to city; West Bend has kept their event consistent for the past six years, somehow managing to find new hiding places in a geo-saturated city. If you're trying to boost your number of successful finds, West Bend is the place to be!

West Bend GeocachesOur family attended the West Bend Cache Ba$h in 2012 and we can say the event is a fabulous forum for making new geo-friends, attening "how to" classes, seeing some really creative geocaching containers, and experiencing a wide variety in difficulty and terrain. The Wisconsin Geocaching Association has a large presence at the event and many of the local businesses offer special discounts for the weekend. Cache Ba$h is where we learned to phoon. And if you geocache, you know what I mean (wink).

115_0608Adding to the geo-hype, West Bend has recently been chosen as a finalist for the "Best Small Town for Geocaching" in Rand McNally's "Best of the Road Contest." Running through October 7, finalist cities have the chance to win a $20,000 prize package from Rand McNally. Finalists must now create a photo tour or video and an essay detailing why each should be considered the best small town in America for geocaching. The entries will be judged on persuasiveness, creativity and originality as well as online activity about the town and its geocaching.

And while we give Peachtree City, Georgia; Helena, Montana; Manhattan, Kansas; and Merritt Island, Florida two thumbs up for supporting geocaching, we would love to see the prize money come home to Wisconsin. So, to help rally the troops and support geocaching in Wisconsin, let's give West Bend some momentum. Here's how you can help:

  • Follow Rand McNally's Best of the Road on Twitter and tweet about West Bend using the hashtag #bestoftheroad
  • Follow WestBendWI on Pinterest and like or re-pin to your geocaching boards
  • Watch this 30 second YouTube commercial that highlights many of the reasons why West Bend is such a great community (go ahead and like and share)