ABA Unveils 2011 Top 100 Events; 150th Anniversary Of Civil War Battle, Montreal Lantern Festival Earn Top Spots

September 7, 2010

For Immediate Release
Contact: Eron Shosteck
Phone: 202-218-7220

WASHINGTON --GroupConnect.com today announced the selection of veteran motorcoach and group travel industry business leader Tony Funderburg as its new Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the joint American Bus Association (ABA)-Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) online portal designed to be a one-stop shop for group travel needs. He replaces Jennifer Powers in the position, who is moving on to Gray Line of Nashville effective this week.

The 29th annual ABA Top 100 Events in North America is a key guide for professional travel planners and the general public. The list highlights the top fairs, festivals, parades, exhibits, theater and shows across North America. While the Top 100 Events are not ranked, ABA does highlight both the Top U.S. and Top Canadian Events for each year.

ABA’s list of Internationally Known Events (IKEs), an elite group of perennial favorites that have timeless popularity and international appeal, received two additions to its rarified group of only 34 earning such recognition and status: 2010 Top U.S. Event winner the Fiesta San Antonio (April 7-17, 2011), and the Daytona 500 (Feb. 20, 2011).

The Magic of Lanterns features different themes each year during its annual 700-lantern display in the Chinese Garden of the Montréal Botanical Garden. The lanterns, designed in Montréal and handcrafted by skilled artists in Shanghai, are shipped by boat from China to Canada and the Botanical Garden, where they are then arranged on-site.

"The 150th commemoration of the Civil War’s First Battle of Manassas, and the illuminating lights of Montréal’s Festival of Lanterns, are vibrant examples of the diverse group travel destination events across North America that make up the 2011 Top 100 list,” said ABA President & CEO Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS. “The 2011 Top 100 events all welcome motorcoach groups, which boosts attendance and tourism dollars spent at each."

The Top 100 list is chosen from more than 600 events nominated by tourism officials, CVBs & DMOs from across North America, as well as all ABA member segments. A 15- member Selection Committee of tour operators bases its selections on the events' broad appeal, their accessibility to large groups arriving by motorcoach, and other criteria. The full 2011 Top 100 winners list is on http://www.buses.org/News-Publications/Top-100