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Dover Post
  • Kent County Tourism hosts annual luncheon to recognize key events, people

  • Business owners and civic leaders from across Kent County gathered at the Duncan Center on Friday for Kent County Tourism’s 22nd annual Celebration of Tourism in Kent County luncheon.
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  • Business owners and civic leaders from across Kent County gathered at the Duncan Center on Friday for Kent County Tourism’s 22nd annual Celebration of Tourism in Kent County luncheon.
    The organization started hosting the event more than two decades ago as a way to recognize tourist attractions and partners, said Lorraine Dion, director of special events and public relations for Kent County Tourism.
    “Our role at Kent County Tourism is to market Kent County and the Dover area to visitors as an overnight destination and it takes a lot of partners to make that happen,” Dion said. “We thought what a great time to acknowledge our accomplishments at Kent County Tourism, as well as the partners that helped us to get there.”
    Those honored included Redner’s Warehouse Market, which was recognized as Tourism Partner of the Year; the road marking crew for the Amish Country Bike Tour were named Volunteers of the Year; and Sen. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) was named Legislator of the Year. Firefly Music Festival was honored as the Attraction of the Year.
    “Firefly is the biggest thing to hit Delaware in a long time,” said Cindy Small, executive director of Kent County Tourism. “Even though it is only two years old it has drawn 60,000 people to Delaware, many of whom have never been here before and it has brought millions of dollars to our businesses.”
    Since becoming the home of Firefly, Dover has been named as the East Coast music capital, according to Small.
    “I don’t think Firefly could have worked anywhere else,” said Greg Bostrom, festival director for Red Frog Events. “We lucked into the most amazing, accommodating community we could have ever asked for in Dover and in the state of Delaware.”
    On Friday, Bostrom took a moment out of receiving his own award, to give back to the Dover community. Red Frog Events started a local charity called Illuminate Dover and during the awards ceremony Bostrom presented Small with a check for $5,500 for the City of Dover to put towards the beautification of U.S. Route 13.
    “Anything we’ve given to the community is just a small fraction of what the community has given to us,”Bostrom said.
    The Kent County Levy Court Commissioners were also recognized on Friday. As a group, they were awarded the title of Tourism Persons of the Year. Their support of the Kent County Regional Sports complex contributed to their recognition, said Anita Evans, president of the board of directors for Kent County Tourism.  
    “Kent County Levy Court stepped up to the plate when it came time to move forward with the idea of the Kent County Regional Sports Complex,” Evans said. “They not only donated the land for the site, but have spent countless hours working with the committee to make sure that the site not only gets constructed, but is a first-class facility.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The winner of Tourism Person of the Year is kept secret until it is announced at the banquet. The commissioners were surprised, said Levy Court President Brooks Banta.
    “It’s a great honor,” he said. “We couldn’t have done it without the dedication of our 286 employees. We’re a team and that’s how we get things done.”
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