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Carrboro a finalist for Oprah matchmaking show

Carrboro hopes to prove it is ready to show some love.

The Oprah Winfrey Network and the BBC Network have selected the town as a finalist for the location of their reality show Lovetown, USA, in which professional matchmakers will visit for 30 days to match up local singles.

A BBC production crew will visit on Friday to hold a photo shoot at Town Commons to capture the essence of the community.

Annette Stone, Carrboro’s economic and community development director, said the show’s producers were looking for a small town with a scenic location and a strong sense of community.

“We want everyone to come out and be themselves, and show their character,” Stone said.

Mayor Mark Chilton encouraged residents to come to the photo shoot and be creative.

“Bring your hula hoop, djembe, skateboard or whatever,” he said. “Help us celebrate the diversity of our community.”

Anyone who has a Carrboro mailing address — even if the person is a student — is eligible and encouraged to apply to be on the show. Applications are already being accepted, though producers have yet to decide if Carrboro will be a “Lovetown.”

Residents are pushing to make sure the town chosen to host the show.

Carrboro musician Billy Sugarfix wrote a rap song about the unique places in Carrboro, which was used in the town’s video application for the show.

Others explained that the town would fit the show’s vision.

“This is the ideal community. We are a Southern, yet progressive little town,” said resident Keith Erskine.

Kristin Esterley, another Carrboro resident, said the town’s diversity will help it stand out.

“I definitely think Carrboro has the character they want,” Esterley said. “There are so many different kinds of people here.”

But locals are working to bring the show to town in hopes that it will do more than spice up their love lives.

Stone said she feels the show will bring the town the national attention it deserves.

“Hopefully, it will generate tourism, and maybe some of those tourists will come back and become residents,” she said.

Chilton said he also anticipates the show will benefit Carrboro and Chapel Hill restaurants and hotels.

And Sugarfix hopes it will bring attention to the art scene.

“This show could do a lot for local artists,” he said.

He said the town is filled with local artist’s work, so filming would likely include it.

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“The sound track could come entirely from local acts,” Sugarfix said. “It would be a quality sound track.”

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