2022 Award Recipients
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2022 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award Recipients

The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) – The Premier Association Supporting and Enabling Festival and Event Professionals Worldwide – announced and recognized the 2022 recipients of their “IFEA World Festival & Event City” award, during the 65th Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat presented by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance in McAllen, Texas, United States on September 21, 2022.


An economic hub of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai boasts beautiful culture and abundant natural resources. The city’s offers of international-quality tourism services and priceless arts and cultural experiences have greatly impressed visitors. With long history and the unique Lanna culture, Chiang Mai is packed with traditional festivals that deeply reflect the residents’ beliefs and ways of life. On the other hand, their creativity has led to the creation of many contemporary festivals and events that invigorate the city and engage visitors in year-round activities with the locals. The city of Chiang Mai is committed to becoming a city of festivals and events, with a keen eye on sustainable development on the grounds of balanced coexistence between humans and nature. Such an ideology lies at the heart of Chiang Mai’s local culture. Stakeholders in the city, including the government, private, public and education sectors, have collaborated in organising festivals and events to welcome and immerse visitors in an experience of this delicate culture while they bask in the exquisite landscape of Chiang Mai among the lush forests and mountains of Northern Thailand.
Jinju is a city in South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. At just over a third of a million, Jinju is a relatively small city by Korean standards. From old times, Jinju was a fountainhead of national culture and spirit. As a city that has held 1,000-year-old historical heritage of the ancient city, Jinju has been well renowned as a home of patriotic spirit, education, culture and art. There are cultural events held in Jinju every year. Among these are the Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival which is held in October for approximately ten days. This nationally designated cultural tourism festival, found only in Jinju, features a spectacle of lanterns floating on the Nam River to commemorate the patriotic spirit of the 70,000 militia corps and government troops who died for their country defending Jinju from the Japanese forces during the Imjin War. Other major festivals include: the Nongae Festival, the Korea Drama Festival, the Gaecheon Arts Festival and the Jinju National Bullfighting Contest.
McAllen is a bicultural community that grew under the Texas sunshine into an event city like no other. McAllen’s roots are woven into every celebration, creating new traditions and transforming seasonal events into unforgettable experiences - like the McAllen Holiday Parade. Not only is it the largest illuminated holiday and helium balloon parade in Texas, has been selected as the Best Parade in the World 4x and Best
Parade in Texas 5x by the International and Texas Festival & Events Associations,
respectively.
Designated by the Texas Governor, McAllen is the official South Pole of Texas, Santa’s warm weather winter getaway, and home to holiday events that blend seasonal fun with south Texas personality.
McAllen created original festivals like Fiesta de Palmas and MXLAN where Latino culture thrives, and a place for special events that celebrate the arts, subcultures, competition, and inclusive outdoor fun. McAllen hosts eight-hundred-and-three events each year that generate over sixty-nine million in annual economic impact; with an additional eighteen-point-five million dollars of impact from the McAllen Holiday Parade. Thanks to the work of over twenty-two hundred volunteers and a dedicated
special events team.
The Penghu islands are located at 23° 30′ N and composed of ninety islands and islets. Unique sunshine, blue sky, clear sea, and golden beaches outline the charming and varied scenery of Gaillardia Island. In Penghu, the unique natural environment breeds rich and diverse ecological resources, especially columns of basalt, known as the world-class landscape. In addition to an important place for bird watching, the columns of basalt are acclaimed internationally as the God’s Stone Sculpture Garden. Moreover, Penghu has had more than 700 years of history so far. The historic sites and buildings have been created for the religion and culture formed from the temples as a center in each village. The local custom is reflected from well-preserved historic residences, important traditional settlements, and the cultural landscape of fishing weirs, one of the Potential World Heritage Sites in Taiwan. The festivals and events in Penghu for the whole year start with an exciting turtle-granting contest on the Lantern Festival. After that, there are the most remarkable Penghu International Fireworks Festival in spring and summer, the appealing Penghu Beach Party Carnival in the summertime, and a sporting tour for relaxation in autumn and winter. In the end of a year, an extensive cultural tour of the countryside is undertaken. The government agencies continue to plan and develop a series of splendid festivals and events, and are committed to seeking innovation and transformation. By combining local cultural features and environmental resources, the beautiful and diverse scenery of nature and culture in Penghu is promoted to attract tourists, stimulate industrial development, and create value of the city brand.
The City of Philadelphia is making a comeback for the ages. The challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic impacted every facet of the event and hospitality industry across the globe. As a city that prides itself on major events, tourism and its hospitality sector, Philadelphia was not spared from the pain endured by so many. Our event industry stepped up to the plate in a way that no one could have imagined, repurposing venues for testing and vaccination sites, implementing common sense protocols to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ensuring that consideration for public safety and public health was at the forefront.
As public health officials began to roll back restrictions and public gatherings were permitted to return, Philadelphia was ready. The second largest city on the east coast came out swinging, and continues to build momentum in 2022 for what comes next. Planning over the next four years will lead to a monumental celebration in 2026, and the work that has been done to establish Philadelphia as a premier destination for event producers will set the stage for success.
Philadelphia is seeing tourism and hotel occupancy rates that exceed prior year projections, as visitors return to experience the history, culture, dining and overall vibrancy of a world-class city that welcomes all. The comeback is underway, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.
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