Middle Georgia festivals garner awards

Two festivals held in Middle Georgia brought home the top two awards for best festivals in the Southeast at the Southeast Festivals and Events Association conference held in Macon this week.

The Deep Roots Festival in Milledgeville captured the gold award and Macon’s International Cherry Blossom Festival took the silver award in the Best Festival or Event category for events with a budget of $75,000 or more. The Taste of Atlanta event took the bronze award in this category. This was the only category with a budget limit.

All together, seven festivals or events held in Middle Georgia brought home 31 awards out of 61 given at the annual conference of the association held Monday through Wednesday.

The Cherry Blossom Festival brought home 15 awards, the most any event won, and Deep Roots bought home 10 awards.

The Deep Roots Festival, which is held in late October, was called the Sweetwater Festival until last year. Last year, the one-day event celebrated its sixth year.

“We are absolutely thrilled we were recognized as the best festival this year,” said Heather Kennedy, projects coordinator with the Milledgeville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“It’s been a long, hard couple of years for us with the rebranding and total overhaul of our look, our logo and our name. It was absolutely amazing.”

Kennedy said winning the top award would be another tool used in marketing the festival, which drew 15,000 attendees last year.

Here is a list of other categories and awards given to Middle Georgia festivals and events at the conference:

— Best “Green Gig,” CBF, silver

— Best Vendor or Supplier, CBF, gold

— Best Web site, Deep Roots, gold

— Best Miscellaneous Printed Materials, CBF (The Telegraph’s pink paper), gold; Deep Roots, bronze

— Best Single Print Ad, Deep Roots, gold; CBF, bronze

— Best Event Program or Brochure, Deep Roots, silver

— Best Promotional Poster, Arts on Riverdale (Macon), gold; Deep Roots, silver

— Best Marketing Campaign, Deep Roots, gold; CBF, silver; Fired Works (Macon), bronze

— Best Event Banner, Deep Roots, gold; CBF, bronze

— Best Solicitation Package, CBF, bronze

— Best Sponsor, CBF, silver

— Best T-Shirt, Deep Roots, gold

— Best Pin or Button, CBF, gold; Deep Roots, silver

— Best Miscellaneous Clothing, Taste of Music (Macon), gold

— Best other Merchandising (non-clothing), CBF, gold; Big Pig Jig (Vienna), bronze

— Best Event within in an Event, CBF, silver

— Best New Event, Milledgeville Marketplace Farmer’s Market, silver; CBF (Tunes and Balloons), bronze

— Best Volunteer Program, Big Pig Jig (Vienna), gold; CBF, silver

— Best Volunteer, CBF (Mark Ballard), silver

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.