The Quilt Gardens are winners!

The 10th edition of the popular summertime event took home the Best Festival or Event Award from the recent Indiana Tourism Awards.

The annual one-of-a-kind exhibit featured 19 Quilt Gardens locations in Elkhart, Goshen, Nappanee, Middlebury, Wakarusa and Bristol along with 22 Quilt Murals. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Quilt Gardens sites were joined by a Seward Johnson sculpture exhibition of 56 life-size sculptures and one monumental scale sculpture. The sculptures were located at each Quilt Gardens site and in multiple downtown locations.

The judges for the Indiana Tourism Awards, all tourism and hospitality executives from around the Midwest, cited the colorful promotional materials that the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau produced that “made them want to visit.” Judges were impressed by the amount of time and planning required to stage the Quilt Gardens.

An estimated 2,000 hours of work, much of it performed by volunteers, go into planting, watering, weeding and maintaining the Quilt Gardens through the season.

One judge remarked, “Wow! What an awesome and wonderful event for their community. … Overall, this was very well executed and I was impressed by the extremely cohesive campaign surrounding the event. I want to visit!”

The ECCVB’s campaign included informational brochures, signage at each Quilt Gardens location with maps and details about the quilt pattern and flowers at each site, a website and social media postings.

The Quilt Gardens beat out formidable competition for the Best Festival or Event Award over Abbey Road on the River by the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention-Tourism Bureau and the annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition by Visit South Bend Mishawaka.

“This award belongs to the many Quilt Gardens volunteers who labor through hot weather and the chilly spring months to bring the gardens to life,” said Sonya Nash, the ECCVB’s manager of the Quilt Gardens project. “We’re blessed to have so many passionate advocates who care deeply about the look of the Quilt Gardens and cheerfully greet visitors from all over the country and world.”

The Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official tourism advertising/marketing and public/community relations organization for the Elkhart County hospitality industry. The ECCVB champions local businesses, programs and projects that serve residents, visitors and hospitality interests.

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For more information, contact Terry T. Mark, director of communications of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau, at 574-262-8161 or