Smithfield & Isle of Wight Tourism wins state award for annual festivals

Published 2:00 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

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Smithfield and Isle of Wight County’s shared tourism department won a VIRGO award in the niche marketing category at the Virginia Association of Destination Marketing Organizations or VADMO Spring Symposium in Richmond.

The VIRGO Awards, now in their 14th year, celebrate the success of destination marketing organizations and their respective staff members, volunteers and stakeholders. Suffolk Tourism Manager Theresa Earles manages the Virgo Awards on behalf of VADMO.

Smithfield and Isle of Wight Tourism won for Smithfield VA Events’ multiple event entry that highlighted the annual Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest, Bacon Bourbon Fest and BOB Fest (Bloody Marys, Oysters and Brunswick Stew).

“Each year, VADMO honors the best and brightest in Virginia’s tourism industry,” Earles said. “Whether it is an innovative marketing campaign, a wildly successful destination event, or a top-notch tourism professional; the VIRGO Awards showcase the immense talent and dedication of VADMO’s members and their communities.”

Judy Winslow, Director of Smithfield  Isle of Wight Tourism said, “The trio of events produced by our tourism stakeholder, Smithfield VA Events, is an outstanding example of how events can bring tremendous economic uplift to a community. And, these events have the added advantage of using the power of tourism to also substantially underwrite significant donations to a plethora of charities and community groups. It is truly partying for purposes!”

Judges for the awards were industry peers. Submissions were evaluated on the quality of the submission, economic efficiency, and the economic or community impact. The awards were for projects, campaigns, and efforts completed between January through December 2023.