International water tasting contest accepting entries

The 15th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting welcomes more than 100 waters from across the country and around the globe on Sat. Feb. 26. Held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, WV, it's the largest and longest running water tasting competition in the world...

BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV, Aug. 28, 2004 -- The 15th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting welcomes more than 100 waters from across the country and around the globe on Sat. Feb. 26. Held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, WV, it's the largest and longest running water tasting competition in the world.

Travel Berkeley Springs is now accepting registrations for the award-winning event. Municipalities and bottled water companies are encouraged to enter now at www.berkeleysprings.com/water.

Water can be entered in five categories: Municipal, Bottled Non-carbonated, Purified Drinking Water, Bottled Sparkling and the People's Choice Package Design. The entry deadline is Jan. 15, 2005.

"Water: Our Legacy," the event's seminar, addresses industry issues on Feb. 25 from 1-5 p.m. Last year's featured speakers included Fred Stottlemyer, of the International Rural Water Association; Rosanna Long, with Project WET; J. Scott Shipe, of the American Water Works Association, and Dr. Dorothy Vesper, of the WV Water Research Institute. The seminar is free and open to the public.

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's free and open to the public.

Past judges include representatives from National Public Radio, USA Today and USA Weekend Magazine, Washington Post and Times, Southern Living and Canada House and Garden Magazines, National Geographic Books, the Baltimore Sun and the Philadelphia Inquirer. The event was featured on a National Geographic Today TV special and was selected as one of Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events for February 2003.

The water tasting weekend begins on Feb. 24, with preliminary tastings at Coolfont. Special events and activities continue everywhere in Morgan County through Feb. 27.

Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting is the crown jewel 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, check www.berkeleysprings.com - winner of the Stars of Industry award for best website at the 2000 Governor's Conference on Tourism.

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