By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Oxford’s 2012 Double Decker Festival was named “Best Public Event” in the Creative Events category at the Association of Destination Management Executives International annual conference in Montreal.
“Our event partner, Leo Events (that helps us with staging, booking, etc.) nominated us and we won,” said Mary-Kathryn Herrington, Oxford’s director of tourism. “Many very large destinations were honored at these awards, so this is quite an honor for Oxford and the Double Decker Festival.”
Winners in other categories represented destinations like Chicago, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Nashville and New Orleans.
A global panel of judges from several travel industry groups reviewed entries for more than 90 events.
“Double Decker Arts Festival brought visitors and residents to a celebration of music, food and arts on the picturesque Courthouse Square in Oxford, Mississippi,” said the award summary. “A program of the Oxford CVB, [Double Decker’s] goal was to increase awareness and appreciation of the arts and music in the Oxford and surrounding areas, to elevate Oxford’s overall visibility to tourists, and to distinctively celebrate the 175th anniversary of the city.
“Leo Events produced the 17th annual festival drawing over 55,000 guests to the free event while implementing an online ticket system, improving crowd control and introducing upscale food vendors to the event.”
While this may be Double Decker’s most prominent award, it is far from its first. It has been named in “Top 100 Events” by American Bus Association, “Top 20 Events” by the Southeast Tourism Association, Best Fair or Festival by Mississippi Magazine and Best Event Program by Southeast Regional Festivals and Events, along with numerous local and regional awards.