Wicomico County’s tourism division recognized its strongest partners during the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Wicomico Civic Center.
The mission of the Wicomico County tourism division is to attract visitors to stimulate the economy and enhance quality of life.
While the division faced its share of pandemic-related challenges over the past year, one thing remained consistent: support from the community.
“Our County’s tourism office has one main goal – and that’s to bring more - bring more events, bring more people and bring more outside dollars into our market,” said Tourism Manager Kristen Goller. “This goal is not possible without one key ingredient – community support.”
Tourism’s community partners help the county recruit new events, retain and grow current events and welcome event attendees into the community.
The City of Salisbury and the National Folk Festival were honored as the Tourism Partner of the Year for presenting the largest outdoor entertainment event the county has ever seen. Festival organizers say the National Folk Festival drew over 60,000 attendees in 2018 and 150,000 in its second year.
The Tourism Hospitality award went to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Athletics. The college has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure the growth and success of Wicomico County events, supporting the Governors Challenge and other sporting events over the years.
Coach Butch Waller was presented the Betty K. Gardner Tourism Person of the Year award for his work with the Governors Challenge over the last four decades. Waller founded the event in 1981 when he gathered Wicomico, Crisfield, DeMatha and St. John’s high schools to play a double-header at the Wicomico Civic Center. Since then, the event has grown into a 120+ team event, with Waller present every step of the way.
Photo Caption: From left to right are Laura Soper of the City of Salisbury, Wicomico Tourism Assistant Manager Cole Lacey, UMES Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs Stan Bradley, Coach Butch Waller, UMES Athletics Director Keith Davidson and Wicomico Tourism Manager Kristen Goller.