Pigeon Forge Receives 20 International Events Awards

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (September 2015) – The Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) Department of Tourism claimed a record 20 Pinnacle Awards, including six gold, from the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA).

Wilderness Wildlife Week received nine Pinnacle Awards, including gold for the best educational program and the best community outreach program in the category for projects with budgets less than $250,000. This marks the sixth year the event has received gold for best educational program.

The outdoor-focused event, which moves from January to May in 2016, won silver awards for best green program, best children’s programming, best hat and best new attendee service, as well as bronze awards for best promotional poster, best miscellaneous clothing and best event within an event to benefit a cause.

Gold Pinnacle Awards also were received for best event program and best cover design for the Saddle Up 2015 program guide, best hat for Dolly’s Homecoming Parade and best organizational website for MyPigeonForge.com.

“Having our events recognized year after year by the IFEA is humbling,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, “especially when you realize that we are competing against major events from all over the world. Our special events staff and family of volunteers are to be congratulated for their work. They are the reason the Pigeon Forge name is associated with award-winning events.”

Additional silver Pinnacle awards were received for best TV promotion and best commemorative poster for Saddle Up. Other bronze Pinnacle awards were for best radio promotion for Patriot Festival, best promotional brochure, best single magazine display ad and best new merchandise for Saddle Up, and best educational program for A Mountain Quiltfest.

“It’s a challenge to keep our special events growing. We literally have to out-do ourselves each year. Pigeon Forge has a reputation for producing outstanding events, and we take a lot of pride in the fact that IFEA recognizes our work,” said Butch Helton, special events manager.

Other winners at the 2015 convention included the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago; the Portland Rose Festival, Portland, Ore., and the Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena, Calif.

International events vying for Pinnacle awards included Servus Heritage Festival in Edmonton Alberta, Canada; Geumsan Insam Festival in Geumsan, South Korea; and Ludwig Van Beethoven Easter Festival, Krakow, Poland.

This year’s IFEA awards presentation was Sept. 21 in Tucson, Ariz., during the organization’s 60th anniversary convention.



Donnette Engebrecht

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