Morristown's Mountain Makins Festival wins top honor
February 29, 2016MORRISTOWN, TN — Mountain Makins, the annual Rose Center festival honoring Appalachian arts, crafts, and music, celebrated its 40th anniversary this past fall, and it just received a belated birthday honor. The Southeast Festivals and Events Association named the event the Best Festival in the Southeast at its annual conference in South Carolina.
"We are humbled by this incredible honor," said Drew Ogle, executive director of Rose Center. "It's truly a testament to the talent of our Mountain Makins festival director Beccy Hamm. Each year, Beccy leads an army of volunteers through a 12-month long process to produce this event. I'm so excited that she and her festival team have been recognized in this way."
Debra Williams, the chair of the Rose Center board of directors, agreed. "What an exciting honor for Rose Center to have our Mountain Makins Festival recognized as the Best Festival," said Williams. "The Southeast Festival and Events Association is a prestigious organization and to have them acknowledge Mountain Makins with this award is a tribute to the hard work of our staff and volunteers."
The SFEA was founded in 2009 to strengthen the festival and event industry throughout the southeast United States. The organization hosts educational seminars, networking opportunities, award recognition programs and additional events throughout the year. When choosing which festivals to honor, the SFEA examines multiple aspects of the event, including planning, marketing, volunteer management, creativity, originality and overall impact on the community. Mountain Makins, in its first year being considered for the honor, was awarded the top prize for a festival with a budget under $75,000 at the SFEA's annual convention in Charleston.
"The quality of these events continues to increase each year, making it more difficult for the judges to select the winners," noted Brenda Pierce, executive director for SFEA. "Of course, to "win gold,' becomes all the sweeter when there is additional competition, and the recognition a festival receives for winning is priceless."
Hamm attended the conference and accepted the trophy for Rose Center. "We expect that this recognition will bring even more quality artists and musicians, as well as out-of-town and out-of-state visitors, to Morristown's favorite fall event," said Hamm. "The trophy belongs to all the volunteers who have invested so much time and energy over the years, and to the artists, musicians, demonstrators, dancers, storytellers, and other participants whose talents make it such a special festival."