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The mule jump is always a popular event at the festival. (ORN Photo)

The mule jump is always a popular event at the festival. (ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – The accolades for the city of West Plains continue to pile up.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, set for June 20 and 21, 2014, in downtown West Plains, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2014 by a tourism industry selection committee.

Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine from the American Bus Association, indicates the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world.

With the release of the 2014 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 32 years of this program. What began as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries has grown to be one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.

West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann recognized the importance of this distinction and offered high praise to the festival’s planners, saying that the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains, and it’s an honor to be selected as one of the continent’s best 100 events.

One of the many talked-about items of the festival is the squirrel pot pie. (ORN Photo)

One of the many talked-about items of the festival is the squirrel pot pie. (ORN Photo)

According to studies completed by researchers at George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave from $5,000 to more than $11,000 in a local destination’s economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.

ABA’s 2014 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected this event from hundreds of event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the event’s broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria.

The Top 100 Events list is available online at http://www.buses.org/News-Publications/Top-100.

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