Duluth’s Events Coordinator, Kristin Edwards, Awarded Director of the Year by SFEA

The Southeast Festivals and Events Association (SFEA) recognized Duluth’s Events Coordinator, Kristin Edwards, as Director of the Year for her efforts in providing Duluth with a fun, creative outlet, even during these challenging times.

Kristin Edwards has been coordinating events for the City since March of 2019. As you all know, most events in 2020 were cancelled with community health and safety coming forward as a top priority. By April of each year, the events coordinator typically has most of the events planned for the remainder of the season; so you can imagine how much work Kristin put into the events that never got to come to fruition. By late spring, discussions between the Events & Marketing Department, City Manager’s Office and the City Council led to the cancelling of all remaining scheduled events through the end of July.

Although she was disappointed, this tough but necessary decision did not stop Kristin from continuing to plan virtual and socially distanced events to bring entertainment to the community. During lockdown, a few virtual events were hosted. This included a TikTok Challenge and a Duluth Shines talent competition. Once lockdown was lifted, she really sprang into action. Her top priority was to stay on top of the current executive order given by Governor Kemp to ensure that we were following all restrictions and taking the proper precautions.

The first step back into normalcy was weekly Duluth Live “events”. These events consisted of music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the Town Green main stage and in Parsons Alley. These live musical performances were not meant to draw a crowd but rather enhance the ambiance for those that were utilizing the outdoor dining space. Other socially distanced activities were creatively themed photo-ops, Seek Duluth scavenger hunts, and a drive-in theater. The season ended with the annual Deck the Hall event which featured unique social distancing activities including photos with Santa inside a snow globe, free caricatures and tree lighting.

The award was accepted virtually at the annual SFEA Conference on February 24, 2021. The SFEA Kaleidoscope Awards, which recognizes the marketing, programming and overall event, acknowledges the highest level of achievement in the festival and event industry throughout the southeast United States.

The mission of SFEA is to strengthen, educate and unify the festivals and events industry throughout the Southeast. Comprised of festival and event planners, venues, and industry service providers, SFEA was founded to strengthen the festival and event industry throughout the southeast United States by hosting educational sessions, networking opportunities, award recognition, and additional events throughout the year; thus allowing for continued professional growth within the festivals and events industry.

For more information about upcoming events visit www.duluthga.net/events, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofduluth or contact our Events Coordinator, Kristin Edwards at events@duluthga.net.

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