Move over Kennewick Man. Make room for the cowboys. American Cowboy magazine picked Kennewick as one of the best places to live in the West.
"A river runs through it -- three, actually," says the opening line in a short profile of Kennewick in the magazine's March-April edition, being delivered this week.
Kennewick is one of 20 communities listed as having qualities of life that exemplify the best in the West, said magazine editor Philip Armour.
"We chose places we've heard are wonderful or have traveled to ourselves," he said.
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Writer Kevin Carmody of Colorado Springs said communities that make the cut have to have an authentic flavor, a cowboy or ranching core, and a small town feel.
Carmody, who worked in media for pro rodeo for a number of years, said he knew about Kennewick because of the Horse Heaven Round-Up Rodeo.
His quick take on Kennewick highlights the Cowboy Gathering and the Spring Barrel Tasting, each annually held in April, the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo and the Tri-Cities Wine Festival.
Kennewick Man -- the 9,300-year-old skeleton found on the banks of the Columbia River -- gets a plug, as do Pasco, Richland, the East Benton County Historical Museum and the Sacagawea Heritage Trail.
"It makes perfect sense. The award is based on quality of life such as outdoor appeal, tourism, historical significance and ranching activity," said Kim Shugart, vice president of the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau.
Kennewick Mayor Steve Young said the magazine's ranking might obligate him to dust off a cowboy hat and boots he has had in storage for years.
The magazine notes that Kennewick's pluses include the lowest cost of living index in the state and steady job growth, making Kennewick a hit "with families and businesses, too," Carmody wrote.
Sharp-eyed readers will notice that the photo representing Kennewick is a view of the Columbia River showing Richland's Columbia Point Golf Course.
Last year's Best in West list included neighboring Hermiston, while Ellensburg made the cut the year before.
Other communities on this year's list include Lewiston and Pocatello in Idaho; Baker City, Ore.; Deadwood, S.D.; Sheridan and Cody in Wyo.; Amarillo, Texas; Miles City, Mont.; Canon City, Colo.; Farmington, N.M.; Logan and Cedar City, Utah; Tombstone, Ariz.; Elko, Nev.; Guthrie, Okla.; North Platt, Neb.; and Bishop, Temecula and Red Bluff, Calif.