The City of Philadelphia Named a World Festival & Event City

The International Festival & Events Association (IFEA) has honored both the City of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show with respective awards for excellence in event management.  The City was named a 2014 recipient of the IFEA World Festival & Event City Award and the Philadelphia Flower Show was recognized with 17 awards, including the top honor, the Grand Pinnacle Gold Award for the world’s best event.

“Philadelphia is a world-class city and, as such, we are fast becoming a destination to host big events.  We have great facilities, amenities and the right team of City officials and employees in place to ensure that events held in Philadelphia run efficiently, effectively and safely,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “I’d like to thank the many departments, agencies and community partners that work together to make Philadelphia a great place for big events.  I’d also like to congratulate the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for its incredible work of the iconic Philadelphia Flower Show.  I want to thank the IFEA for recognizing Philadelphia and the Flower Show for our many successes in planning and executing big events.”

The IFEA created the World Festival & Event City Award, the only recognition program of its kind, to recognize great global festivals and industry events and the cities and event organizers that stage them.

City entries were judged by an international panel of industry experts based on categories ranging from community involvement and local government support to festival and event branding and festival and event diversity.


“International recognition for the City of Philadelphia’s festival and event community is well deserved,” said Jazelle Jones, Deputy Managing Director and Director of Operations. “Philadelphia and its surrounding counties support 89,000 jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry and attract more than 39 million visitors annually. We host a multitude of world-class festivals and parades each year, including the largest free outdoor concert in the United States, Wawa Welcome America’s Philly 4th of July Jam, produced by Desiree Peterkin-Bell. With our status as a finalist for the 2016 Democratic National Convention and with the World Meeting of Families on the horizon in 2015, Philadelphia is uniquely poised to capitalize on the recent proliferation of events and festivals and establish itself as a world-class destination.”

Jazelle Jones accepted the award on behalf of the City during the 59th Annual IFEA Convention & Expo in Kansas City, Missouri on September 29, 2014.


The complete list of 2014 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award recipients is as follows:


  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates;
  • Dublin, Ohio, United States;
  • Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia;
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States;
  • São Paulo, Brazil; and
  • Sydney – New South Wales, Australia.

“The IFEA and VISA are pleased to recognize and highlight those cities and markets who have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events,” said IFEA President and CEO Steven Wood Schmader, Certified Festival and Event Executive, during the presentations. “Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a continuing dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever. The quality of all the entries paints a bright picture for our industry and those cities recognized with this award are helping to build a strong foundation and example that we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate.”

For more information on IFEA visit:

Read the City’s winning award submission here:



The Office of Special Events (MDO) is a full service, one-stop shop for all special event permitting and licensing needs.  The Office of Special Events is also responsible for managing the municipal response to special events, departmental cost recovery, risk mitigation and community outreach.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release
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