Registration open for Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting

The Nineteenth Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting welcomes more than one hundred waters from across the country and around the globe on Saturday, February 21. Held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, it is 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...

BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV, July 29, 2008 -- The Nineteenth Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting welcomes more than one hundred waters from across the country and around the globe on Saturday, February 21. Held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, it is 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 January 15, 2009.

"The impact of winning this event is extraordinary," said Jeanne Mozier, an event founder. After winning the 2008 gold medal for best tasting bottled non-carbonated water, Matinsburg, WV's Tumai water company saw sales grow exponentially overnight. From selling 54 cases of water per month, just in the local area, two months later Tumai sold almost 2,500 cases a week in six states with distribution continuing to pick up. "Before this festival I had had a handful of inquiries from people on the internet, a couple businesses sold this in Martinsburg. Afterwards we had 1,500 hits on the website, had 2000 inquiries emailed to us," reported Tumai's Bob Downey, who is scheduled to speak at the 2009 seminar.

"Water: Our Legacy," the event's seminar, addresses industry issues on Friday February 20 from 1 - 5pm. Featured speakers have have included hydrologists, hydrogeologists and representatives from such varied organizations as Water Innovation magazine, Potomac Water Watch, the International Bottled Water Association, US Geological Survey and Department of Environmental Protection.

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 The Country Inn in downtown Berkeley Springs. Produced by Travel Berkeley Springs, it is free and open to the public.

Past judges include representatives from Spa Magazine, USA Today and USA Weekend Magazine, Water Innovation Magazine, Washington Post and Times, Southern Living, Blue Ridge Country, Virginia Living, Travel & Leisure, and Canada House and Garden Magazines, National Geographic Channel and Books, Oxford American, Quad State Business Journal, the Baltimore Sun and the Philadelphia Inquirer. The event was featured on a National Geographic Today television special and was selected as one of Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events for February 2003.

The water tasting weekend begins on Thursday, February 19, with preliminary tastings. Special events and activities continue everywhere in Morgan County through Sunday, February 22nd.

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, 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.

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