While 2020 was a year which saw many events postponed, some Texas festivals and events were able to celebrate before the pandemic. It is those events that the Texas Festivals & Events Association opened up their annual Kaliff Marketing Awards to, for events that were held from June 2019 through the middle of March 2020. The award competition, which recognizes the best of the best amongst the various Texas festivals and events, is the highlight of the annual TFEA summer conference, which was also postponed. However, the show must go on and this year’s award ceremony, like so many things this year, was held virtually, airing live on the City of McAllen’s own MCN 1300, which was livestreamed throughout the state.
Festivals and events from around the state as diverse and far away as Tomball; Plano; and even others closer to home, including Edinburg and Laredo were submitted for the competition, with the City of McAllen earning 80 total awards, including the coveted Best Parade in Texas in its respective budget category for the McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B. The other big winner was the South Texas Book Festival, establishing itself as a top-notch literary and marketed event.
“TFEA emphasizes the core values of excellence, sharing and community. The pandemic created a situation unlike any we have ever experienced before, but now more than ever, festivals and events help unite a community and give people something to smile about and take their troubles away, especially in uncertain times. These award-winning events exemplify these values,” said Joe Vera, Assistant City Manager for the City of McAllen and 2019-2020 Chair of the TFEA.
The McAllen Holiday Parade was once again named the Best Parade in Texas, and once again, it received the coveted Zenith Award, the highest recognition from the competition. Overall, the annual event earned 30 total awards – 23 gold and six silver – in its respective budget category.
The other big winner for the City of McAllen was the South Texas Book Festival, walking away with not only the grand Zenith Award, but also earning 15 gold and three silver and three bronze in its own budget category. The McAllen Convention Center Facilities also earned multiple awards – 24 in total – for five different events, including Fiesta de Palmas; FRIO!; The Palm Awards; McAllen International CarFest; and Sunset Live. Texas Recycles Day, hosted by McAllen Public Works, also earned four awards for their event.
Vera added that quality of the events hosted by the City of McAllen speaks volumes for not only the attendees, but also, the sponsors who are connected to those very events.
“As the City of McAllen, our ultimate goal is to create memorable experiences and signature, destination events that are unrivaled in their entertainment value, as well as all of the other elements associated with
such programs,” Vera said. “But for our sponsors, we want to thank them for seeing our vision, believing in the events and helping us to create these moments that produce first class events, with creative marketing, promotion and publicity value.”
Other area winners included the McAllen Chamber of Commerce for MXLAN and the City of Edinburg’s Frida Fest and International Film Fest. A total of 395 events, in all respective budget categories, were submitted for consideration in the competition.