West Palm Beach Recipient of the 2019 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award
Left to Right, Top Row: Armando Fana, Assistant City Administrator of West Palm Beach; Mary Pinak, Marketing and Community Events Manager for City of West Palm Beach.

The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), the premier association supporting and enabling festival and event professionals worldwide, held its 64th Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia. During the convention, the City of West Palm Beach was recognized as one of six recipients of the 2019 “IFEA World Festival & Event City” award. The City of West Palm Beach is the first and only city in Florida to receive this award.

“It is an honor to receive this prestigious international award from IFEA, which is truly a validation of our efforts, especially amongst the strong global competition,” said Mayor Keith A. James. “I am incredibly proud of our Community Events staff for their hard work to ensure that the City of West Palm Beach provides world-class events and entertainment for locals and visitors to enjoy. Our team continues to get more creative and innovative each year. As we mark the 125th anniversary of our city, I am looking forward to the events being planned to unite our community as we celebrate this milestone together.”

The IFEA World Festival & Event City Award was designed and created as a way for the global festivals and events industry to openly encourage, support and recognize positive local environments for festivals and events worldwide. Festivals and events create tremendous community and economic capital in the markets that they serve, but the partnership with and support from the local community, at all levels, is critical to the success and sustainability of existing festivals and events, as well as the ability to attract and encourage new events.

“The IFEA is pleased to recognize and highlight those cities and markets who have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events,” said IFEA President Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE, during the presentations. “Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a continuing dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever. The quality of all the entries paints a bright picture for our industry and those cities recognized with this award are helping to build a strong foundation and example that we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate.”

“At the heart of everything we do is our community,” said Community Events Manager for the City of West Palm Beach Department of Parks and Recreation, Mary Pinak. “This honor recognizes the imaginative ideas which our team brings to life through engaging events that can unite our neighbors. We congratulate our fellow award recipients from around the globe who continue to touch lives by providing top festivals and events.”

In addition to West Palm Beach, the 2019 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award recipients included: Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia; Gimje-Si, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; Rotterdam, South Holland, The Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

At a separate ceremony recognizing the most outstanding examples of quality and creativity in the festivals and events industry, the 2019 IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards were announced. The City of West Palm Beach was honored with 27 Pinnacle awards, including nine gold, 12 silver and six bronze awards.