The twelve American Bus Association members of the 2008 Top 100 Selection Committee met in the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania and Delaware, in June 2007 to select the Top 100 Events for 2008 from among hundreds nominated by state and provincial tourism offices and local convention and visitors bureaus. The esteemed list was published as a supplement to Destinations magazine: Motor coach Travel across North America, the official publication of the ABA in its September issue.
For the third time in six years Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival in Nappanee, Indiana has been named to the roster as it celebrates its 46th year. The festival will be held July 31 – August 3, 2008. The Nappanee festival is the only private event in the nation to make the Top 100 list. Other attractions mentioned as being close to Amish Acres include the University of Notre Dame, the RV National Heritage Museum and the College Football Hall of Fame.
“It is simply unprecedented for an event in northern Indiana to be named to this amazing list not once, not twice, but three times. We are indebted to the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau for recognizing the uniqueness of this festival and nominating it for this distinction,” said Richard Pletcher, founder and CEO of Amish Acres Historic Farm and Heritage Resort, who began the festival as a clothesline event in downtown Nappanee 46 years ago while a college student, “To be represented at this level among the more than 11,000 festivals celebrating and dedicated to the artists and craftsmen of America is a singular honor.”
Heading the Top 100 list is the Top Event in the United States, the 75th Annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture in Flagstaff, Arizona and the Top Event in Canada, Quebec City 400th Anniversary. Additional events that are internationally known annual affairs include the Indianapolis 500 Festival, the Preakness Festival in Baltimore, the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day and the Philadelphia Mummers Parades, Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. International Canadian events include the Calgary Stampede, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival.
Joining the Amish Acres and Indianapolis 500 events in Indiana is the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon in Lafayette. Events from surrounding states feature the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan, the Chicago Air and Water Show, the Professional Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, in Canton, Ohio, The Wisconsin State Fair and the Kentucky Derby Festival.
Other events featuring the arts are The Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival, WheatonArts Festival of Fine Craft in Millville, New Jersey, The Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition in Oklahoma City, The Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival and the Boardwalk Art Show and Festival in Virginia Beach.
The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres will be celebrating its 23rd season of Plain and Fancy on the Joseph Stein Stage named for the author of Fiddler on the Roof. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel will fill the stage during the performing arts celebration at the Nappanee festival. The Oregon and Utah Shakespeare Festivals join the Canadian theatre festivals, the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-lake and the Stratford Festival of Canada in additional performing arts celebrations based on the timeless plays of William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw.
The American Bus Association is the North American trade organization representing the intercity bus industry. Its members include bus companies that offer tours, charters, and scheduled service; travel members representing virtually every segment of the travel and tourism industry; and associate members who supply the industry with goods and services. The 2008 Top 100 Events are listed on the ABA’s Web site at http://www.busses.org/
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, fax at (202) 842-0850, or in writing at American Bus Association, 700 13th St., N.W., Suite 575, Washington, DC 20005. Information on Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival may be obtained at http://www.amishacres.com/