Rock Hill just won All-America City status. Here’s what impressed the judges most.

Rock Hill is on a roll.

After recent celebrations of the Carolina Panthers bringing their practice site to the city and starting a new free bus service, Rock Hill now can claim All-America City status. Rock Hill is one of 10 communities across the nation to win the award Sunday.

“We are happy to designate Rock Hill as an All-America City,” National Civic League president Doug Linkhart said in a statement. “They showed us today that they do a great job of engaging the whole city in creating a healthier community.”

Mayor John Gettys posted a photo on Twitter of the award, crediting the people of Rock Hill for “doing what we do” in earning All-America status.

“It’s not a reward for what we’ve done but a recognition of the promise we have as a community,” Getty’s posted. “The work we do is ongoing.”

Applicants submitted their efforts to create healthy communities. The field of communities narrowed to 20, then finalists presented projects to a jury. Judging focused on civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation.

Rock Hill earned points for Impact York County, a coalition working health interventions countywide, and for both Miracle Park and Knowledge Park. Miracle Park is play space designed for people with special needs. Knowledge Park is a downtown revitalization plan including venues, restaurants, hotels and more.

The All-America City award dates back to 1949. Each year 10 communities from across the country earn the designation. Winners this year in addition to Rock Hill are Battle Creek, Mich.; Clinton, N.C.; Cornelius, Ore.; Doral and Hallandale Beach, Fla.; Dubuque, Iowa; Edinburg, El Paso, Lancaster, Mission and San Antonio, Texas; Gothenburg, Neb.; Livingston County, N.Y.; Ontario, Rancho Cordova and West Hollywood, Calif.; Pasco, WA; Sumter, S.C.; Wichita, Kan.

South Carolina has 12 winners all-time including Rock Hill, which also won the award in 1969. Other winners include Aiken (1997), Anderson County (2000), Charleston (1978), Florence (1965), Georgetown County (2005), Hartsville (1996, 2016), Kershaw County (2018), Mount Pleasant (2010, 2018), Orangeburg County (2005), Richland County (2006) and Sumter (2019).

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