Berkeley Springs to hold water taste-off Feb. 24

The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting welcomes more than one hundred waters from across the country and around the globe on Saturday, February 24.

BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV — The award-winning Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting welcomes more than one hundred waters from across the country and around the globe on Saturday, February 24. Held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, it is the largest water tasting competition in the world.

Representatives from Bosnia, Moldavia, Scotland, Sweden and Syria will be in attendance as waters from nine countries, twenty-six U.S. states and the District of Columbia compete for the coveted honor of best tasting water. Tasting of more than 50 municipal waters, the largest field of entries to date, begins at 3:30pm.

A new category of water — purified drinking water—will be introduced this year and will be judged along with the bottled waters, both still and sparkling at 7:30pm.

All day Saturday, the public will have an opportunity to vote for the People�s Choice award for best packaging. They will also be able to taste water along with the distinguished panel of media judges.

Watermaster Arthur von Wiesenberger, noted expert and author from Santa Barbara, CA, directs the challenge of evaluating a product where tastelessness is the most sought after quality. The unique event, dubbed the "granddaddy of water tastings," by von Wiesenberger, is held at Coolfont Resort. Produced by Travel Berkeley Springs, it is free and open to the public.

A reception and awards presentation follow the judging at 9pm. Handcrafted fused-glass slump bowls created by Amingo Glass of Hedgesville, WV are presented as awards in the

municipal, bottled and still water categories as well as for purified drinking water and best packaging design. Billed as "black tie or bib overall optional," the reception features foods from Coolfont's Treetop Restaurant, water information, and bottling exhibits.

Judges for the eleventh annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting include

representatives from the United Nations and the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. Also among this year�s judges are the Director of Commerce and Tourism for West Virginia, as well as journalists from The Washington Post, Cooking Light, Modern Baking and Pittsburgh Magazines.

For the past three years Berkeley Springs has received the honor of being selected the Coolest Place on Earth by whatsgoingon.com on the World Wide Web, in recognition of the water tasting's one-of-a-kind quality.

"Water: Our Legacy," the event�s seminar, addresses industry issues on Friday afternoon from 1 - 5pm. Featured speakers come from the United Nations, World Water Rescue Foundation, International Bottled Water Association and the Tai Sophia Institute.

The water tasting weekend begins on Thursday, February 22, with preliminary tastings at Coolfont. Special events and activities continue everywhere in Morgan County through Sunday, February 25th.

Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting is the centerpiece event of the award-winning Winter Festival of the Waters which features three months of special activities, sales, and accommodation packages. For more information and a free calendar of events, call Travel Berkeley Springs — 800-447-8797 or check www.berkeleysprings.com - winner of the Stars of Industry award for best Website at the 2000 Governor�s Conference on Tourism.

2001 Municipal Entries

1. Amos, Canada

2. Asheville, NC

3. Atlantic City, NJ

4. Berkeley Springs, WV

5. Brunswick, MD Potomac River

6. Brunswick, MD Yourtee Springs

7. Buellton, CA

8. Capon Bridge, WV

9. Charleston, WV

10. Cuyahoga Falls, OH

11. Desert Hot Springs, CA

12. Dover, DE

13. Dubuque, IA

14. Eldorado Springs, CO

15. El Sobrante, CA (Oakland, CA) San Pablo

16. Fairmont, WV

17. Findlay, OH

18. Freemont, CA Hetch Hetchy

19. Freemont, CA Treatment Plant Two 20. Frisco, NC

21. Gatlinburg, TN

22. Geneva, Switzerland

23. Greensburg, PA

Indian Creek Water Treatment Plant

24. Greensburg, PA

McKeesport Water Treatment Plant

25. Greensburg, PA

G R Sweeney Water Treatment Plant

26. Greenville, MS

27. Hagerstown, MD Willson Plant

28. Hagerstown, MD Breichner Plant

29. Hancock, MD

30. Harpers Ferry/ Bolivar, WV

31. Henderson, NC

32. Hesperia, CA

33. Huntington, WV

34. Huntington Station, NY

35. Joshua Tree, CA

36. Kent, OH

37. Kenton, OH

38. Key West, FL

39. Kill Devil Hills, NC

40. Little Rock, AR

41. Los Angeles, CA MWD

42. Manteo, NC

43. Montpelier, OH

44. Oak Creek, WI

45. Oakland, CA Pardee Reservoir

46. Olympia, WA

47. Paris, France

48. Pico Rivera, CA

49. Qunaitra, Syria

50. Renton, WA

51. Ripley, OH

52. Rochester, NY

53. Rodanthe, NC

54. Sandusky, OH

55. Sykesville, MD

56. Washington, DC

(Washington Aqueduct U.S.ACE)

57. Weirton, WV

58. Weston, WV

59. Worland, WY

60. Yucca Valley, CA

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