WInston County, Alabama is an award winning great place to live, visit, and do business in northwest Alabama.


Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association

Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association

EMBARGO: September 26, 2008, noon
CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381

2008 North Alabama PEAK Awards

Mooresville, Ala. – September 25, 2008 – The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) has honored Winston County’s “Free State Sesquicentennial Homecoming Celebration” with the 2008 Event of the Year award. The award is among 10 that comprise the PEAK Awards which will be presented on Friday, September 26 during the AMLA Annual Meeting at Lake Guntersville Sate Park in Guntersville.

The PEAK Awards, the highest achievement in North Alabama tourism, honor individuals and organizations that have had a major impact on tourism in North Alabama. The Event of the Year award is presented to the AMLA member special event or festival that has made a great contribution to tourism in the past year.

The Free State Sesquicentennial Homecoming Celebration was the largest celebration in the history of Winston County. Held June 20-22, 2008 at Looney’s Tavern & Amphitheatre in Double Springs, the 150th Birthday Celebration was a free event with activities including a Winston County Idol Contest, art exhibits, craft demonstrations, historical displays and demonstrations, an old fashion picnic, live music, and children’s activities and rides over the 3-day event. Sunday featured Hallelujah Voices, the largest choir assembled consisting of over 300 participants, and visitors came dressed in 1858 period garments. Festival organizers were expecting approximately 4,000 visitors over the three day event.

“The PEAK Awards allows us to honor those individuals, organizations, and events that are so much a part of North Alabama’s tourism success,” said Dana Lee Jennings, president/CEO of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association. “Tourism contributed $1.9 billion to North Alabama’s economy in 2007 and supported 29,000 jobs in the 16 northernmost counties of Alabama.”

The PEAK Awards were initiated by the 1997-98 AMLA Executive Committee to recognize past and present members for excellence in the North Alabama tourism industry. Additionally, these awards are a means for the industry to recognize non-industry professionals who have contributed greatly to tourism in the North Alabama region.

The full list of awards and winners is as follows:

  • Organization of the Year – Downtown Gadsden Inc.
  • Event of the Year – Winston County’s “Free State Sesquicentennial Homecoming Celebration”
  • Attraction of the Year – EarlyWorks Museum Complex
  • Tourism Professional of the Year – Jennifer Moore, Huntsville/Madison County CVB
  • “Good Neighbor Award” Friend of Tourism – John McWilliams, Tuscumbia Railway Company
  • Northern Star Award – Terry Jennings, Little Faces Doll Shop
  • Young Professional of the Year Award – Lindsey Holt, Florence/Lauderdale Tourism and Lori Boger, Decatur-Morgan County CVB
  • Lasting Impression Award – SoulStock
  • Chairman’s Cup – Alan Clemons, Huntsville Times
  • President’s Award – Representative Johnny Mack Morrow and Professional Angler Timmy Horton

Note: Photos of award recipients are available upon request by calling AMLA at 800.648.5381 or by sending an email

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 470-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals. Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison,Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available from AMLA by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting their web site at

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