As summer turns to autumn in Kansas City and the rest of the country, festival season usually begins fading to a close. After all, winter’s freezing temperatures are fast approaching, and devouring deep-fried bacon while enjoying a ride on the Ferris wheel just doesn’t hold the same allure when your teeth are chattering. One of our favorite ways to bid adieu to another summer of wonderful community events is by honoring festivals around the world with the Pinnacle Awards, bestowed annually by the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA).
Haas & Wilkerson Insurance has been a proud sponsor of the Pinnacle Awards since 1995 – a fitting choice for a company that’s been insuring the industry for more than 35 years! This prestigious awards competition recognizes outstanding accomplishments in festival and event promotions and operations. Events large and small produce top quality creative, promotional, operational, and community outreach programs and materials every year. The Pinnacle Awards not only celebrate these achievements, but also help raise the standards and quality of the industry to new levels.
The Grand Pinnacle: Honoring the Best of the Best
This year’s winners were announced at the 60th annual IFEA Convention & Expo, held Sept. 21-23 in Tucson, Arizona. We’d like to take this opportunity to spotlight the four winners of the Grand Pinnacle, the highest award given by the IFEA in recognition of those festivals and events that “have a balance of all the elements necessary to ensure a successful event.”
Grand Pinnacle (Budget: Under $250,000):
Sevierville Chamber of Commerce
Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass
Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass is an annual family event celebrating the beauty of spring, championship barbecue, and world-class bluegrass music in the historic downtown of Sevierville, Tennessee. With free admission and free concerts featuring great bluegrass artists, Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass introduces new features every year while still honoring event favorites from years past. While I’m sure it doesn’t stack up against KC’s own barbecue, I will admit that I’d love to sample some of the pulled pork from the Bush’s Best Tennessee State Championship Cook-Off!
Grand Pinnacle (Budget: $250,000 to $750,000):
BorderFest 2015 “Celebrating Korea”
BorderFest is an annual four-day event commemorating Hidalgo’s local border culture, international setting, and unique community spirit. The festival celebrates a different country each year and includes a full carnival, daily and nightly parades, kids’ activities, and much more. The nonprofit celebration also donates thousands of dollars in scholarships to area youth, truly exemplifying the idea of “paying it forward.” BorderFest is a repeat winner of the Grand Pinnacle, having taken home the prize in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2012. Many congratulations!
Grand Pinnacle (Budget: $750,000 to $1.5 Million):
Des Moines Arts Festival
Des Moines, Iowa
With a mission of educating, inspiring, and engaging audiences toward a heightened appreciation of visual and other forms of art, the Des Moines Arts Festival takes home the coveted Grand Pinnacle for the second consecutive year. More than 2 million visitors have attended the festival in our neighboring state since its inception in 1958, taking in a diverse selection of visual arts, live music, performing arts, interactive arts, and a film festival. Further, its community outreach program offers nonprofit organizations the opportunity to participate in the festival free of charge. Bravo!
Grand Pinnacle (Budget: Over $1.5 Million):
Kentucky Derby Festival
“The Stories You Tell Happen Here”
Now a six-time winner of the Grand Pinnacle, the Kentucky Derby Festival “stretches a famous two minutes into a month-long party.” The celebration includes more than 70 special events (wow!) and attracts 1.5 million visitors annually in celebrating spring and the community’s unique vitality. From sporting events to nonstop concerts and kids’ activities, the festival attracts fans young and old and offers two-thirds of its events totally free. What better way to bring together locals and out-of-towners?
Haas & Wilkerson Insurance is proud to recognize the hardworking individuals and groups who execute memorable events for individuals and families around the world. Congratulations to all the winners and keep up the good work. We look forward to seeing many of you next year!
To see a full list of IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition Winners, click here!
Help us congratulate the winners of this year’s Pinnacle Awards by tweeting @IFEAWorld and @HaasWilkerson!