The winner and two runners-up in the multi-year America’s Best Communities contest will be named at 7 p.m. today.

Madison is one of the eight finalists competing for the top prize of $3 million. Second- and third-place winners will receive $2 million and $1 million.

Other finalists include: Chisago Lakes Area, Minn.; Darrington/Arlington, Wash.; Huntington, W. Va.; Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; Statesboro, Ga.; Tualatin, Ore.; and Valley County/Meadows Valley, Idaho. 

Any final prize winnings for Madison will help to continue work on the Madison Connector by linking the base of Hatcher Hill Trail to Mulberry Street and Hatcher Hill Trail to the Heritage Trail, as well as signage, benches, bathrooms, maps and possibly a bike share program.

Local team members flew to Denver, Colo., earlier this week where final presentations and the final announcement will take place. Area residents may gather at one of the two viewing parties in Madison to watch the announcement, which will be live streamed tonight. 

Viewing parties will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Boneyard Grill at 513 Clifty Drive or The Red Bicycle Hall at 125 E. Main St. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available at both events.