Awards and Recognitions

2019

  • Forbes named Winchester the 9th small metro area metro for business and careers in America and #1 in Virginia! https://www.forbes.com/places/va/winchester/
  • Chosen as the #1 spot in Virginia to retire by 24/7 Wall St.: https://247wallst.com/special-report/2019/01/04/best-places-to-retire-in-every-state/
  • Winchester included in "Top 6 Cities to Start a Business in the U.S." list by pennygeeks: https://pennygeeks.com/blog/top-cities-to-start-a-business-in-the-u-s/
  • Listed as the #4 on a list of the 20 most affordable small towns to retire in 2019 by 55places.com: https://www.55places.com/blog/the-most-affordable-small-towns-for-retirement
  • Winchester included in the 25 Best Places to Retire by Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/best-places-to-retire/#7a27e34e1af5
  • City's Percy D. Miller Water Treatment Plant received the Virginia Optimization Program Gold Award for its high quality drinking water treatment from the Virginia Department of Health's Office of Drinking Water. This is the highest possible ranking in operations excellence for water utilities. Each year, through Virginia’s Optimization Program, the VDH recognizes drinking water plants that perform above and beyond minimum standards, optimizing their treatment process and running it efficiently and effectively.
  • The City received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for FY2018 CAFR from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).  This is the 27th year the City has received this award.
  • City's AAA bond rating was reaffirmed for the third time by S&P.
  • Communications Department wins a 3CMA Silver Circle Award for their Combat the Cat vehicular theft awareness campaign encouraging local residents to lock their doors tight, or risk the swipe.
  • The Building Inspections staff received the 2019 DHCD Building Safety Month Campaign Contest for their efforts in helping to make Winchester a safe place to work and live. The Virginia Dept of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) noted that there were many strong entries this year and notified Interim Building Official Richie Fletcher that Winchester should be proud to have been selected from among so many excellent campaigns.

2018

  • Winchester was ranked as the number one Most Popular Small City out of 100 cities included in this list by MoveBudda: https://www.movebuddha.com/blog/popular-small-city-list-relocate-2017/
  • Winchester Police Department reaccredited by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professionals Commission.
  • Best Use of Facebook Award from 3CMA for Communications Department's 2017 public safety recruitment campaign. View
  • Winchester included in the "Best Places to Visit in Virginia" list by vacationidea.com.
  • Received sixth consecutive Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from GFOA. 
  • Received the "Fun in the Sun" award for best outdoor play space by Winne.com
  • The Winchester, Virginia / Frederick County, Virginia area has been ranked the 11th (#13 last year) best small metro area in the entire country (and #1 VA community) for business and careers by Forbes (Charlottesville ranked next closest VA area at #13 nationwide): https://www.forbes.com/best-places-for-business/list/small/#tab:overall_state:Virginia
  • The City received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for FY2017 CAFR from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). This is the 26th year the City has received this award.

2017


2016

  • Winchester featured (7 pages) in Where to Retire Magazine (March/April 2016)
  • Winchester included in a blog post by We3Travel: Exploring the Small Towns of the Shenandoah Valley. Quote: "Winchester was the prettiest of the towns we visited in the Shenandoah Valley." (2/24/16)
  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) – 24 consecutive years.
  • Winchester was one of the 30 small cities nationwide to be featured in a National League of Cities Facebook series for the month of June.
  • Winchester was included in an Apartment Advisor blog about the 23 Best Cities for Young Families.
  • An article about the City’s mass care exercise was included in the May issue of VML’s Town & City magazine.
  • Winchester was featured in this Virginia Pilot article about world capitals (August 14).
  • Received a first place Savvy Award from the City/County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA) for the City’s 2016 Annual Informational Calendar (Graphic Design category for communities with 0-40,000 population).  The City’s redesigned website (launched in March 2016) received an Award of Excellence for third place (Best Overall Website for 0-55,000 population category). 
  • Winchester was featured in a blog about "20 Historic Cities and Towns to Explore in the Capital Region." 
  • For the fourth consecutive year, the City of Winchester has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its FY16 budget document.
  • Winchester was ranked #29 in Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities List (December 2016): http://www.best-cities.org/2016/best-performing-cities-report-2016.pdf.

2015

  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) – 23 consecutive years.
  • Winchester included in Washingtonian article about fastest growing suburbs to Washington D.C. (4/1/15)
  • 10 Beautiful Towns in Shenandoah Valley, theculturetrip.com (4/22/15)
  • 15 Foodie towns to try in 2015, Virginia is for Lovers travel blog (4/22/15)
  • Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival nominated for best southern event by USA Today readers
  • Winchester was ranked third out of 125 cities studied by valuepenguin.com as one of the best places in the U.S. for Athletic Trainers to work/live.
  • Article: Washington slept here…no really  (5/7/15)
  • Winchester has a winner on its hands in 10Best and USA TODAY's Readers' Choice contest for Best Southern Event. USA TODAY's digital version and often its print edition will run a piece in the following days listing all the winners.  You will likely want to share it via social and add it to your site's media accolades.  Results. Here is the full list of winners for Best Southern Event:
    1. Memphis in May International Festival
    2. Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
    3. Tupelo Elvis Festival
    4. Cruisin' The Coast
    5. Luling Watermelon Thump
    6. 30A Songwriters Festival
    7. State Fair of Texas
    8. National Cherry Blossom Festival
    9. FloydFest
    10. Bonnaroo
  • Winchester named in list of “10 Best Places to Retire” – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine (August 2015)
  • Washington Post includes Winchester in D.C. getaway guide: 12 drivable weekend trips. “These Washington-area picks are within four hours by car and include a grab bag of free or low-cost activities. But best of all: The dozen destinations will transport you to another place and mindset.” (7/17/15)
  • Winchester included in Washingtonian Magazine’s August issue – 25 Great Small Towns feature. “25 destinations that are charming, laid-back and worth a visit”
  • #15 (out of 200) in Forbes list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers (7/30/15)
  • In a report released July 28, 2015, Winchester earned it's rank as being the #13 safest city in Virginia's from severe weather. With the frequency of storm events in Virginia, HomeownersInsurance.com compiled severe weather data from NOAA to identify the cities that are less prone to severe weather storms, such as flooding. Residents in these safe(r) zones are not only safer from the damage caused by severe storms but may also have lower property insurance costs due to less frequent losses in the area. Winchester ranked #13 on the list due to having low occurrences of lightning and hail.  
  • Winchester recognized as a great place to retire by Fidelity.com (August 25, 2015)
  • Washington Post names Winchester in article about five day trips that take less than two hours by car, bus or train (8/27/15)
  • Winchester is ranked #15 out of 112 communities considered in a recent study by NerdWallet concerning the "Best Places to Start a Business in Virginia" (9/11/15)
  • Old Town Winchester named in article: “These 25 Towns in Virginia have the Best Main Streets You Gotta Visit” (11/13/15)
  • Winchester ranked in the top seven best places to raise a family in Virginia by local.niche.com (12/9/15)

2014

  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) – 22 consecutive years.
  • On Wednesday, March 19, 2014 the Old Town Development Board and the City of Winchester were presented with a Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Award for the dedication of over 35,000 volunteer hours to the revitalization of the downtown’s historic commercial district.
  • Ranked #10 in Top 10 Most Exciting Places in VA by Movoto Real Estate (7/2/14)
  • Featured in Business in Focus magazine (economic development article) (August 2014)

2013

  • City receives bond rating increase to AAA (the highest rating possible) – Standard & Poor’s
  • Best Comprehensive Plan Award – American Planning Association, Virginia Chapter
  • City Honored for Outstanding Corridor Transformation (VCC, www.valleyconservation.org/bettermodels). On May 8, 2013, the Valley Conservation Council recognized the City of Winchester for improvements to a mile-long stretch of Amherst Street that transformed the city’s western gateway into a beautiful and functional corridor.  A “complete streets” approach blended major infrastructure overhauls with improvements that help walkers and bikers.  A multipurpose trail, part of the Green Circle Trail, passes through the bucolic Museum of the Shenandoah property, which donated an easement.
  • U.S. News & World Report’s 2013-2014 ranking of Best Regional Hospitals – Winchester Medical Center was ranked #1 in the Shenandoah Valley region and #5 in all of Virginia.
  • Listed as one of the top 4 places in Virginia to retire by MarketWatch.com.