2020 Hometown Spirit Award nominations are now closed. All nominees will be recognized during a reception, with the Hometown Spirit award winner being announced in November.

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Award Details

The Hometown Spirit Award is bestowed annually on a Cary citizen who enhances the quality of life in Cary by preserving, promoting and carrying out positive and quantifiable traditional small-town community values and traits as embodied in the following criteria:

  • Helps out neighbors and fellow Cary citizens
  • Demonstrates hospitality
  • Promotes and preserves traditional American past-times
  • Shows a concern for preservation and works to preserve traditions and the small-town atmosphere in the community
  • Promotes a sense of community in their neighborhood and all of Cary
  • Demonstrates patriotism through promotion and preservation of the country's symbols and dedication to the U.S. military, past and present
  • Serves the community through business

Award History

In 2008, Cary citizen William Clifton Barnes submitted a proposal to the Town Council pertaining to a “Small Town America Award Program.” Council members supported the concept and directed staff to research the idea and report back. On Feb. 26, 2009, the Town Council approved a preliminary concept for a Preservation and Continuation of Traditional Small Town America Award” and the criteria proposed by staff.

The award program is now known as the “Town of Cary Hometown Spirit Award,” and it utilizes the same criteria that council approved on Feb. 26, 2009. The award program was implemented in calendar year 2009.

Visit the archive of award recipients.  


  • In October of each year, the Town Clerk's Office invites individuals to a meeting to select one award winner (examples of people who might be invited to this meeting include: board/commission chairs or members; department directors; past award winners; other staff and Cary citizens involved with other Town or community award programs; etc.). Town Council members are not involved in the selection process.
  • All nominees and nominators are invited to attend a reception in honor of all nominees. Nominees are encouraged to invite their families and friends. Past award winners are also invited. 
  • The Mayor and Council members will present all nominees with a recognition certificate at the reception. 
  • All nominees will be recognized with a write-up on the Town’s Web site.
  • Photos of the most recent winner with an excerpt from the nomination form will be displayed in a designated area at Town Hall.