Salmon Days earns top festival honor in state

March 9, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 2:59 p.m. March 9, 2010

For the second consecutive year, the Salmon Days Festival won the top festival honor in the state, event organizers announced Tuesday.

Salmon Days earned eight Summit Awards from the Washington Festivals and Events Association, a group dedicated to promoting activities throughout the Evergreen State. The group named honorees at a conference held in Seaside, Ore.

The festival hauled in a first-place Gold Summit Award in the highest category at the conference: Best Overall Promotional Campaign. Honorees receive the award for outstanding promotion, including marketing, media and merchandizing.

In all, Salmon Days received four first-place Gold Summit Awards, two second-place Silver Summit Awards and two third-place Bronze Summit Awards within the $150,000 and more budget category.

Organizers emphasized the long history of Salmon Days with the 2009 event theme — “Celebrating 40 Years of Great Returns. Still fresh. Still fun. Still free.”

Among the first-place awards, Salmon Days also won for Best Community Service Program, Best Merchandise Item and Best Sportswear Item.

The festival earned second-place awards for Best Souvenir Pin and Best T-shirt Design. Organizers netted third-place honors for Best Website and Best Newspaper Insert.

“Issaquah Salmon Days is one of the region’s premier festivals, educating thousands of people about the local environment while celebrating all that the city of Issaquah has to offer,” Issaquah Chamber of Commerce Chairman Chris Hysom said in a news release.

The chamber presents Salmon Days. Entries for the Washington Festivals and Events Association contest were based on the chamber campaign and designed by Robin Dale Spicer, a longtime designer of Salmon Days themes.

The awards competition attracts entries from festivals and event producers from across the state. The competition recognizes people in the industry who work to improve the quality and image of festivals and special events in the eyes of the community and the news media. Salmon Days earned seven awards from the organization for the 2008 festival.

More than 180,000 people attended the 2009 festival during the sunny weekend of Oct. 3-4.

Big sponsors — or spawnsors in Salmon Days parlance — for the ’09 event included Snoqualmie Casino, Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Microsoft and Issaquah-based Costco. More than 70 businesses sponsored free activities for festival attendees.

The next Salmon Days will be held Oct. 2-3.

“Salmon Days also serves a vital economic development role by shining the spotlight on Issaquah’s businesses, restaurants, artisans, recreation opportunities and entertainers,” Hysom continued. “Congratulations to festival staff and their volunteers on this important recognition from WFEA.”

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