The best towns and small cities in the US: Eugene, Oregon

Continuing our series about America’s coolest cities we take a trip to Portland’s slightly scruffier little sister – for sport, music and an endearing anarchism

The Slug Queens sum up the spirit of Eugene. Every year the Oregon town hosts an alternative beauty pageant – coinciding with, but independent of, the annual Eugene Celebration – in which outrageously costumed contestants vie for the coveted title. The winners are marked out by a combination of anarchic creativity, wry humour and passionate commitment to their environment: the same qualities that makes this place so unique.

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