Savor Starkville, a Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau campaign highlighting the city’s blossoming culinary scene, received the Mississippi Tourism Association’s Tourism Promotion of the Year Award Tuesday at the Mississippi Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Natchez.
Launched in 2015 when Starkville was recognized by Restaurant Business magazine as a top-5 community in the U.S. to open a restaurant, the campaign utilized illustrated culinary maps denoting the location of Starkville’s trending dining establishments, a Southeast Emmy Award-nominated video airing in Mississippi’s major markets, custom media kits delivered to ESPN and SEC Network on-air talent traveling to Starkville for home football game weekends and a display at June’s Atlanta Food and Wine Festival.
Tuesday’s recognition isn’t the first for the campaign, as Starkville Main Street Association’s Farm to Fork fundraiser won this year’s Outstanding Creative Fundraising Award from the Mississippi Main Street Association.
Greater Starkville Development Partnership Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Gregory said the success of Savor Starkville should be shared with the restaurant owners who put Starkville on the map as a culinary destination and those who worked hard to produce the campaign.
Both SCVB and SMSA fall under the Partnership’s management and operational umbrella, which also includes the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority, the Starkville Area Chamber of Commerce and Starkville Community Market.
“We are honored to receive an award that so many CVBs across the state compete for. I’m really proud of this campaign, the collaborative efforts that went into producing it and the multimedia approach we’ve taken to tell the authentic story of Starkville’s culinary experience,” Gregory said. “Our design and broadcast partners and our amazing restauranteurs are the ones that give us such a rich story to tell.”
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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