The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) presented Toad Suck Daze with two Gold awards during the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony. The ceremony took place Sept. 21-23 at the IFEA’s 57th annual Convention and Expo in Denver.
Toad Suck Daze received the top awards in the “Best Event Photograph” and “Best Overall Merchandising Program” categories.
Jackie Strain-Mahar of Strain Photography took the award-winning photograph. Mary Margaret Satterfield, director of events at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, said that the shot — which featured a smiling boy clutching a toad at the World Championship Toad Races — captures the essence of Toad Suck Daze.
“Toad Suck Daze prides itself on being a kid-friendly, family festival,” Satterfield said. “We are fortunate to have such a talented photographer serve on the Toad Suck Daze committee and capture moments like that one.” Toad Suck Daze won the Gold Pinnacle Award in the merchandise category based its merchandising program’s revenue and expense budget, marketing efforts, community support in selling and distributing merchandise, number and variety of items, and overall effectiveness. Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver won the Silver award in the overall merchandising program category, and Des Moines Arts Festival in Iowa won the Bronze.
Satterfield credits the Toad Suck Daze merchandising subcommittee with operating and stocking the Toad Store and mobile Toad Stores. She also said that having the name “Toad Suck Daze” helps.
“The fact that we took home the top award for our merchandising program is testament to the outstanding job our merchandising subcommittee does,” Satterfield said. “Another reason we have a successful merchandising program is because the ‘Toad Suck’ name is unique to our community. T-shirts and other merchandise bearing that name have become collectors’ items.”
The IFEA hands out Gold, Silver and Bronze awards in 69 different categories. This is the second consecutive year Toad Suck Daze has won the top award in a particular category. In 2011, Toad Suck Daze won the Gold Pinnacle Award for Best Children’s Programming.
Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, the International Festival and Events Association offers the most complete source of ideas, resources, information, education and networking for festival and event professionals worldwide. For a complete list of winners and more information about the IFEA, visit www.IFEA.com