Two Geneva festivals on list of 100 best in North America

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 6:40 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – The American Bus Association announced that Geneva’s Swedish Days Festival in June and Festival of the Vine in September are included in the Top 100 Events in North America for 2014, selected by a tourism industry committee.

That puts two of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce’s events in company with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, the Kentucky
Derby in Louisville, the Indy 500 Celebration in Indianapolis and Mardi Gras in New Orleans, according to the list.

“We are beyond belief,” chamber spokeswoman Laura Rush said. “We are in great company. It’s an honor for us. ... It’s an honor for the city, an honor for the volunteers. Everybody with a say in these festivals should be proud.”

Dan Ronan, a spokesman for the American Bus Association, said the group received 581 nominations for festivals happening in 2014.

The ABA is a trade association for the motor coach, tour and travel industry.

Geneva Economic Development Director Ellen
Divita said administrative assistant Jamie Heflin prepared the nomination on behalf of the city and the chamber.

The city also nominated the Geneva Arts Fair and the Geneva Christmas Walk and House Tour for last year and this year, Divita said.

The city is a member of the bus association as well as the National Tourism Association, Divita said.

“Everything the Geneva Chamber of Commerce does is quality, and this is national recognition of quality, of good, clean, healthy fun,” Divita said.

Mayor Kevin Burns said the city was delighted with the recognition.

“We know a good thing when we see it and want to share that good thing with anybody and everybody,” Burns said.

Ronan said judges look for events that are positive in terms of group travel, in which both buses and the people being transported have good accommodations.

“And these events are interesting and look like they might be fun,” Ronan said. “These [in Geneva] look like very solid events that are family friendly, where people can walk away with a smile on their face.”

The Top 100 list was published as a supplement to the September/October issue of “Destinations” magazine. 

Information and the full list is available online at www.buses.org.

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