It’s not unusual to hear someone say they live in the best neighborhood in Greensboro, but now it’s official: Sunset Hills has been named by Reader’s Digest as the nicest neighborhood in the entire state of North Carolina.

Reader’s Digest was looking for neighborhoods “where people are kind and treat each other with respect.” What impressed the judges started as a unique Christmas decoration, “tree balls,” and has grown into a neighborhood tradition complete with its own signature race, “The Running of the Balls.”

But what put Sunset Hills over the top was that the neighborhood made use of this unique Christmas decoration and the crowds it has attracted to collect food and raise money for those less fortunate.

The editors wrote, “What began as a simple father-daughter craft project now attracts thousands of visitors each year and has provided 2.8 million meals and raised nearly $400,000 to combat hunger.”

Gwen Frisbie-Fulton, in nominating the neighborhood, gave Nick Loflin credit for the race and included this description of Running of the Balls, “A winding night-time road race through the neighborhood and under the lighted balls. Nick and his team bring in local musicians who stand along the route singing merrily to the runners, stations with hot chocolate and marshmallow roasting are set up throughout the event, and everyone – and we mean EVERYONE – dresses in holiday sweaters and tutus and blinking lights and reindeer antlers. It’s the sweetest, cheeriest, and goofiest thing you will see.”

With a nomination like that, how could they not win?

Sunset Hills is the neighborhood south of Friendly Avenue, east of Wendover Avenue and west of Josephine Boyd Street with a southern border that reportedly is not as well defined as Sunset Hills in some areas crosses over West Market Street.