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- Waveland, Miss., Celebrating Rebuilding Efforts 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina; and Oroville, Calif., Home to the State’s Main Water Source and a Large Veteran Community, Win National Competition to Receive Memorable Fourth of July Celebrations -

June 1, 2015

Contact - Charlotte Fletcher
Contact - Nikki Suseck
(212) 548-5728

(Silver Spring, Md.) - USA TODAY and Destination America, the only TV network dedicated to all-American entertainment, today announce the winners of their third annual RED, WHITE AND YOU contest, which awards two deserving communities a spectacular Fourth of July celebration. And the winners are... Waveland, Miss., a Gulf Coast community considered ground zero when Hurricane Katrina hit 10 years ago this August, will celebrate its remarkable recovery and rebuilding accomplishments with the town's first Fourth of July fireworks in a decade; and Oroville, Calif., nicknamed the City of Gold for its prominence during the California Gold Rush, will restore its tradition of fireworks at the nearby Oroville Dam - the tallest in the country at 770 feet high and the leading water source for the entire state of California - after drought and economic challenges have left the dam dark on Independence Day in recent years. Launched in March, the nationwide contest gathered submissions from Americans across the country nominating their hometowns and telling us why they deserve an over-the-top patriotic party.

"Waveland and Oroville captured our attention with their stories of recovery and resilience while their incredible display of hometown pride and American spirit are what makes them especially deserving of the RED, WHITE AND YOU grand prize celebration," said Marc Etkind, general manager of Destination America. "Independence Day is a time to bring communities together, and Destination America is privileged to support these towns as they honor their pasts while working hard to ensure a bright future."

"I am delighted that Destination America and USA Today have chosen the beautiful City of Waveland for a July 4th celebration. Our people are very resilient, but this will help in the healing process to recover from a devastating hurricane such as Katrina. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of rebuilding since Katrina than to have this celebration," said Mayor Mike Smith of Waveland, Miss.

"We are so honored to receive the Red, White, and You celebration hosted by Destination America and USA Today. Oroville has grown through the gold rush, the logging industry, and the monumental build of the Oroville Dam. Oroville is the beginning of the State Water Project and the California drought has been difficult for everyone, including us. This 4th of July celebration will encourage our community and remind us of our rich history." said Mayor Linda Dahlmeier of Oroville, Calif.

The RED, WHITE AND YOU contest received more than 2,600 entries from Americans nationwide sharing moving stories of why their towns deserve an all-American celebration. With many entries submitted on behalf of Waveland, Miss., the one that earned the grand prize was from Donna Estopinal, a long-time resident who wishes to celebrate the town's incredible comeback over the past decade since Hurricane Katrina. As Waveland reflects on its recovery efforts, including the reopening of their beloved pier this summer, Destination America will offer residents the coming out party their town deserves. The second grand prize-winning entry comes from Deliah Robison, who nominated Oroville, Calif., with the hope of recognizing the town's large veteran population for their service. The community has traditionally hosted a large fireworks show from the nearby Oroville Dam but devastating drought and resulting budget restraints have left the town unable to afford the celebration in recent years.

Below are the actual submissions for the two grand prize winning towns:

Waveland, Miss. - Nominated by Donna Estopinal
It's been almost 10 years since Hurricane Katrina attacked Waveland, MS leaving our beautiful city in ruins. She did not attack a few, the entire city was affected. Not only did she put people out of work, she also put them out of their homes. Many people were forced to move away leaving their dreams behind to start over somewhere else. Those who stayed were determined to rebuild not just their homes but our beautiful city as well. Waveland is coming back stronger and better than before. Our pier will be open soon, our veterans' memorial is more beautiful than before and on and on. We are recovering and moving forward slow but sure. Everyone in the City of Waveland works hard everyday. What better place to show off our determination in rebuilding than Waveland, Ms by having a "Red, White and You" celebration, fireworks and all!

Oroville, Calif. - Deliah Robison
Oroville, CA deserves a wonderful 4th of July celebration. Oroville, named the City of Gold, is a historical point for the gold rush. Oroville is home to one of the largest dams. Many retired military Veterans reside here. It means a lot to those families and their community to celebrate and remember what their service was for. In the past, our town hosted a large fireworks show from the dam, but the costs have become too high in many previous years. Last year, they ran many fundraisers to host the fireworks show. It would mean a lot to our town to be able to celebrate without cutting back or having to run numerous fundraisers. We have many access points and can even host neighboring towns by opening our state parks and marinas for more places to watch the fireworks. Please consider our town.

Last summer, Destination America and USA TODAY's RED, WHITE AND YOU grand prize went to Prescott, Ariz., a town still recovering from the devastating wildfires that tragically claimed the lives of 19 brave firefighters, and Hamtramck, Mich., a city that has been hit by hard times but, in true American spirit, is working to make a comeback. The inaugural RED, WHITE AND YOU contest in 2013 delivered Fourth of July celebrations to Union Beach, N.J., a coastal town recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and Fayetteville, N.C., a community that enthusiastically supports its military partners at Fort Bragg.