Yesterday, Festivals & Events Ontario (FEO) released their annual list of the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario and 5 Essex County festivals were included.

A big congratulations go out to the Carrousel of the Nations, Essex Fun Fest, Tecumseh Corn Festival, Shores of Erie International Wine Festival, Ruthven Apple Festival and Windsor International Film Festival.

Below is the press release from FEO:

March 7, 2010 (Woodstock, Ontario) – Festivals & Events Ontario (FEO) announced the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario last night as part of the Association’s President’s Gala, a celebratory conclusion to its annual conference.

Sponsored by VIA Rail Canada, The Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario designation is presented to a select few of more than 2,000 that occur annually within the province. Among the winners were household names like the Scotiabank Caribana Festival, Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest and Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. It also featured many smaller, festivals such as the Lanark Highlands Art of Being Green Festival, the Cobourg Sandcastle Festival and the Rideau Canal Festival. In conjunction with the Top 100, FEO also announced its 2010 Achievement Award winners. Achievement Awards acknowledge individual festival and event excellence and best practices across a broad range of categories.

The President”s Gala is a follow up to a Welcome Reception that was held on Wednesday night. The Honourable Mr. Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture was in attendance to welcome guests and announce the 2010 Festivals and Events of Distinction. This year”s inductees were Rogers Bayfest and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.

“Solicitations for submissions were issued towards the end of the previous calendar year, and an independent jury of industry peers conducted the selection process just prior to the Conference,” explains the Association’s Executive Director, Gary Masters.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, 93% of recreational travelers are seeking cultural and entertainment experiences, such as festivals and events, when they plan a vacation. Over the past two years, approximately 2,000,000 people who visited a festival or event say it was the primary reason for their vacation.

“With so many options for the festival-goers here in Ontario, it can be hard to know which festivals and events offer the most rewarding experiences. As the provincial Association for this industry, we believe it is our responsibility to set these standards and present the results to our consumers in an easily accessible and recognizable brand,” states FEO’s President, Sarah Wood.

The winners of this year’s Top 100 will be highlighted in the annual Festivals and Events in Ontario Guide distributed in both a printed and online format. A list of the 2010 winners can be found on the Association’s website,