PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 2018)—Two Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) events—Wilderness Wildlife Week 2018 and A Mountain Quiltfest 2017—were recently recognized with regional awards by the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) and the Southeast Festival and Events Association (SFEA).
STS selected Wilderness Wildlife Week as one of the STS Top 20 Events in the Southeast for May 2018. Wilderness Wildlife Week and A Mountain Quiltfest tied for top honors in SFEA’s Best Event Program category with each earning a Gold Kaleidoscope Award. A Mountain Quiltfest also received the Kaleidoscope Award for Best Event Within an Event (bronze) for the silent quilt auction to benefit the My People Fund and the Best Other Merchandise Award (gold) for the event thimble.
A Mountain Quiltfest takes place March 20-24, and features a free quilt show and vendor mall. Classes and lectures are offered for all levels of quilting skills (fees apply). Wilderness Wildlife Week, May 8-12, offers workshops, lectures, seminars, concerts, hikes and other activities that introduce and reacquaint participants with the great outdoors; all are free. Both are headquartered at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.
“Members of both the Southeast Tourism Society and Southeast Festival and Events Association are authorities on special events, and they recognize the value of these events to our tourism industry,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “The awards are certainly appreciated, but we are also grateful to both STS and SFEA for their efforts to promote Wilderness Wildlife Week and A Mountain Quiltfest to their audiences.”
Events considered for STS Top 20 recognition must be at least three years old and have attendance of at least 1,000. Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes them throughout the United States. The complete list is published at Southeast Tourism Society.
“The Southeast is home to unique and memorable events throughout the year. In spotlighting the Top 20 festivals and events each month, STS is not only giving these events the recognition they deserve but we’re also creating a quick reference guide to some of the best festivals in the Southeast,” said Bill Hardman, president and CEO of STS. “These events are important to the economic vitality of our communities and this is a way for us to acknowledge the time and resources organizers have tirelessly spent to create memories for their attendees.”
The Kaleidoscope Awards ceremony was Feb. 26 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in conjunction with the 15th Annual SFEA conference. Top festivals and events throughout the Southeast were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the events industry. A panel of experts in event planning, marketing and tourism spent an entire day reviewing entries from eight states. The judges looked for originality, creativity, media impact, volunteer programs, and the overall impact to the community. The categories are also diverse, ranging from Best Marketing Campaign to Best T-Shirt to Best Festival or Event.
“The quality of submissions continues to increase each year making it more difficult for the judges to select the winners,” noted Brenda Pierce, executive director for SFEA. “Of course, to ‘win gold,’ becomes all the sweeter when there is additional competition and the recognition a festival receives for winning is priceless.”
Trish McGee for the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism
615-327-1189 ext. 327
About the Southeast Tourism Society (STS):
STS, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism to and within 12 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
About the Southeast Festivals & Events Association (SFEA):
The Southeast Festivals & Events Association (SFEA) is a 501 (c) 6 membership-based organization comprised of festival and event planners, venues, and industry service providers. SFEA was founded in 2009 to strengthen the festival and event industry throughout the southeast United States by hosting educational sessions, networking opportunities, award recognition, and additional events throughout the year; thus, allowing for continued professional growth within the festivals and events industry. Membership is open to those in the festivals and events industry as well as those wanting to get their start and learn more about this exciting profession.