The International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) has designated Louisville, Ky., a 2010 "World Festival & Event City," the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau (LCVB) announced this month.
Along with Sydney, Australia, Louisville was one of only two cities with populations over 1 million to receive the inaugural designation, which recognizes cities that have worked actively to establish themselves as attractive destinations for festivals and events.
"The IFEA is pleased to recognize and fly the flag of those cities and markets who have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events," said IFEA President and CEO Steven Schmader. "The city of Louisville and a dedicated core of event planners and volunteers has established themselves as the very best in North America for producing and supporting a wide variety of festivals and special events. This is an achievement that was many years in the making and is richly deserved. Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever."
IFEA also honored individual festivals and events for their role in Louisville's designation. Among the local honorees were: Abbey Road on the River, Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival of New American Plays, Forecastle Festival, Gaslight Festival, Harvest Homecoming, IdeaFestival, Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville Zoo's "World's Largest Halloween Party," NuLu Festival, Southwest Community Festival, St. James Court Art Show, West Louisville Appreciation Festival and WFPK Radio's "Waterfront Wednesdays" concert series.
"Festivals and special events not only bring people together, they strengthen our economy and add to our quality of life," said Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. "It is a tribute to the events honored today, along with many others, to receive international recognition that, in Possibility City — we have some of the best, the biggest and most unique festivals in the world."
For a complete list of 2010 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award recipients, visit www.ifea.com.