Georgetown event that helped rally city after Front Street fire nabs statewide tourism award

dbryant@thesunnews.comFebruary 12, 2014 

A popular Georgetown event that last fall doubled as a rallying point in the wake of last year’s Front Street fire has napped a statewide tourism award.

The Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, which started in 1993 to help downtown businesses, received the Charles A. Bundy Award, given annually to recognize contributions to rural tourism in South Carolina.

The award was presented by the S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism department on Wednesday during the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travel in Hilton Head Island.

State officials praised the event for boosting business -- local hotels get a 50 percent increase and Front Street restaurants report a 45 percent increase in revenues during the boat show weekend.

But this fall, the event -- which happened less than a month after the Sept. 25 fire that destroyed seven buildings along the historic Front Street -- did more than just boost business, state officials said.

“In the wake of the devastating fire on Front Street last September, the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show became a rallying point for the community to move forward and overcome the challenges brought by the tragedy,” PRT said in a news release.

The event is produced by the Harbor Historical Association and is the major fundraiser for the S.C. Maritime Museum. It includes a wooden boat building competition, displays of more than 120 classic boats on land and water, maritime art and other exhibits.

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