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Planners Talk Back: July 2017

Select Traveler asked these group travel planners, “What was a standout festival or event your group attended?” Here are their responses.


Cate Eckenrode, Recreation Coordinator, City of Fort Collins

Fort Collins, Colorado

“In the fall of 2016, our travel program took a trip to the Norsk Hostfest in Minot, North Dakota. As my first extended trip as the new recreation coordinator, I couldn’t have asked for a more memorable experience. We took photos with Grandma Schotz, shopped for handcrafted treasures and attended hands-on presentations. We also ate a decadent six-course feast. At Norsk Hostfest, there is so much to see, do, taste and experience.”

Barbara Hahl, Owner and Group Leader, Barbara’s Bunch

Roscoe, New York

“Two years ago, I took my group to the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. Through the years, I had been asked if I would ever do this trip and always said no because I didn’t think people would want to travel during the winter holidays. Was I ever surprised when 28 people signed up. It was an absolute thrill to see the floats being prepared the day before, and the excitement of actually being there was amazing. As wonderful as the parade looks on TV, my travelers loved being there and asked when we can go again.”

Laura Barker, Director of Senior Programs and Travel, Citizens Tri-County Bank

Dunlap, Tennessee

“A favorite with my group is always the Grand Ole Opry. This year, we attended while the Opry was at the Ryman. We enjoyed a backstage tour [and] dinner and had wonderful seats for the show. My group really enjoyed hearing the stories about what happens backstage and the history of the Ryman.”

Shane Franks, Recreation Supervisor, Salem Parks

Salem, Ohio

“We went to Louisville, Kentucky, last October, and our first visit was to the Louisville Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. The name is well suited. The display of over 5,000 pumpkins was truly spectacular. Everyone in our group commented on how amazing the displays were and how it was more entertaining than they could have possibly imagined.”

Maria Elena McCall, Vice President, Montecito Bank and Trust

Santa Barbara, California

“Our group enjoyed the Cherry Blossom Festival with Overseas Adventure Travel in the Mount Fuji Five Lakes region in Japan. It was enjoyable to shop for charming handmade arts and crafts along the lakeshore and enjoy cherry blossom desserts.”