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The Oregon Heritage Tourism Award honors how authentic cultural or natural history is used to draw visitors

INDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO - Fiesta Mexicana has received an award from Travel Oregon.The city of Woodburn has received an Oregon Heritage Tourism Award for Fiesta Mexicana from the Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon).

Travel Oregon made the announcement Monday of all 2017 Oregon Travel and Tourism Industry Achievement Award recipients, which were presented at the 2018 Oregon Governor's Conference on Tourism in Bend.

The achievement awards recognize people and organizations that enhance travel and tourism experiences across Oregon. The award recipients are selected for demonstrating perseverance and dedication to the state.

"It's because of their vision and commitment to making Oregon a better place for Oregonians and visitors that this industry is successful," the Travel Oregon press release said.

The Oregon Heritage Tourism Award honors outstanding incorporation of Oregon's authentic cultural or natural history to draw visitors to the state.

Fiesta Mexicana, a three-day celebration of community and culture, began in 1964 as a celebration to mark the end of the harvest and an expression of gratitude from the community to its farmers and workers.

"True to its roots, today's Fiesta celebrates the variety of Latino cultures in Woodburn and the surrounding area through music, dance, food, artisans and sports," the press release stated. "Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana acknowledges the critical role Latino community members have played in this region for decades."

Woodburn is a co-recipient for the award along with Oregon Black Pioneers, a Salem-based nonprofit that shares the stories of people who weren't always welcome in Oregon. "Racing to Change" is one of their recent projects exhibited at the Oregon Historical Society.

Other awards include:

• Oregon Governor's Tourism Award: Alana Hughson, Central Oregon Visitors Association

• Gene Leo Memorial Sustainable Tourism Award: Jon Tullis, National Historic Landmark Timberline Lodge

• Oregon Tourism Development Award: Oregon Timber Trail Alliance

• Outstanding Oregon Tourism Volunteer Award: Caroline Park, of Thunder Island Brewing, for her fundraising efforts for volunteer firefighters and affected businesses in the wake of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.

• International Sales and Development Award: Travel Portland, for bringing the No. 1 reality show in The Netherlands to Oregon, "Wie is de Mol?" (Who is the Mole).

• Outstanding Oregon PR Program Award: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), for outstanding planning, communication and response to the 2017 solar eclipse.

• Outstanding Oregon Social Media Program Award: Oregon Coast Aquarium

• Outstanding Oregon Visitor Guide Award: Visit Bend's 2017 "Adventure Journal"

• Oregon Outstanding Advertising Award: Union County Chamber of Commerce for video series, "You'll See Union County."

• Outstanding Oregon Website Award: Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory for content-driven website redesign

• Outstanding Overall Oregon Marketing Program Award: Willamette Valley Visitors Association for promotional campaign at San Jose Airport using a custom acrylic design in the shape of an Oregon pinot noir bottle spanning 14 feet.

• Oregon Tourism Leadership Award: Natalie Inouye, for 30 years in the industry at Travel Lane County, Willamette Valley Visitors Association, the Oregon Coast Visitor's Association's marketing committee and the Oregon Scenic Bikeways Committee.

According to the press release, "the work of these awardees enhances the travel and tourism industry and contributes to diversified economies and increased job opportunities throughout the state."

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