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Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau celebrates area events, businesses and attractions

ALTON - Eight area attractions, events and businesses were honored by the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau during its annual Tourism Summit held Thursday, Jan. 16 at SIUE.

From the new Grafton SkyTour at Aerie’s Resort to Willoughby Farm in Collinsville, to Worden’s redneck “Wordi Gras” event, the bureau highlighted trendsetters in tourism.

“We celebrate the champions and top achievers in tourism for 2019,” Brett Stawar, President and CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau said. “This is our chance to show the people, organizations and businesses that we recognize how hard they work throughout the year.”

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Recognized for 2019 were:

Best Attraction: TreeHouse Wildlife Center, Dow, IL (pictured are Adele Moore and Kelly Vandersand with Brett Stawar)

Best Group Tour Experience: Willoughby Farm, Collinsville, IL (Pictured is Carol Freker with Brett Stawar)

Tourism Enhancement Award: Eastgate Center, East Alton (Pictured are Todd & Julie Kennedy and East Alton Mayor Joe Silkwood)

Tourism Trendsetter: Grafton SkyTour, Grafton (pictured are JD Lorton and Brett Stawar)

Sports Marvel: Alton Catfish Classic (Pictured are Jason Jackson and Todd Adamitis with Brett Stawar)

Best Community Involvement: Brighton’s Sesquicentennial Celebration (Pictured are John Bramley and Christy Jones with Brett Stawar)

Best Festival: Edwardsville Art Fair (Pictured is Melissa McDonough-Borden and Brett Stawar)

Extraordinary Excellence: Wordi Gras (Pictured are Worden City Clerk Ann Loemker and Walker Gusewelle)

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