DOVER, Del. -- Sept. 25, 2013 -- Three of the state’s most beloved festivals have been chosen among the best in North America by the American Bus Association, the leading trade group representing the motorcoach, tour and travel industry in the United States and Canada.
The ABA said its Top 100 Events and Festivals selection committee evaluated hundreds of nominations before including the Delaware Wine & Beer Festival, Dover Days Festival, and the World Championship Punkin Chunkin as three of the best events in North America to experience via motorcoach in 2014.
“Considering the many thousands of events across the U.S. and Canada, it's an incredible achievement for Delaware to have three included in the Top 100,” said Linda Parkowski, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “It just shows how hard people have been working up and down the state to promote these attractions, and how far Delaware has risen in the national consciousness.”
Most visible among the Delaware winners is the Punkin Chunkin, which attracts national media attention and television coverage each year. Held in Bridgeville each fall, the event attracts tens of thousands from across the country to watch teams hurl pumpkins using home-made contraptions, aiming to toss theirs the farthest and win the title. The fun includes live bands, food and rides. The event will be held Nov. 1-3 this year. See www.punkinchunkin.com for more.
Held on Oct. 20 this year in Dover, the Delaware Wine & Beer Festival showcases the First State’s finest wineries, breweries, and distilleries. In just four years since its debut, the festival has become Kent County’s premier event for learning about the art of wine and craft brewing, enjoying live music, indulging in mouth-watering fare by select local eateries, and browsing the works of Delaware’s favorite artists and artisans. This event is also where Delaware’s home-brewing champion is crowned each year. See www.delawarewineandbeerfestival.com for more.
Blending modern-day fun with a look back at Delaware’s Colonial past, Dover Days Festival (held May 3-5, 2013, and May 2-4, 2014) offers a chance to celebrate spring’s charms with Maypole Dancing on Dover’s Green, a Civil War-era baseball game, and more than 350 vendors, crafters, and food purveyors. Now more than 80 years old, the festival also holds the distinction of being held at one of the sites of the nation’s newest National Monument. Festival-goers also get free admission to the Old State House, Biggs Museum of Modern Art, and more. See www.doverdaysfestival.com for more.
Events are nominated for the Top 100 awards by ABA members, including state tourism offices. Because they are watched by professionals in the group tour industry, the 32-year-old awards serve to raise awareness of, and potentially increase visitation to, local destinations.
“What began as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries has grown to one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public,” the ABA says.
The complete 2014 Top 100 Events in North America is being published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, the official publication of the American Bus Association. While the Top 100 Events are not ranked, ABA does highlight the Top U.S. Event, which for 2014 is the Star-Spangled Spectacular (Baltimore, Md., Sept. 6-16, 2014).
The ABA’s Top 100 web page is at www.buses.org/news-publications/top-100. The complete list of winners is available at www.buses.org/files/Top100/2014/Top_100_Final.pdf.
The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at www.visitdelaware.com or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
Delaware Tourism Office