Quilt Festival expected to draw 18,000 visitors downtown

Cincinnati will host the International Quilt Festival at the Duke Energy Convention Center with more than 18,000 visitors expected to attend, splashing downtown Cincinnati with the rich colors and intricate craftsmanship of quilters from around the globe.

The event will take place April 8-10th, and this year marks the debut of the Spring Festival in Cincinnati, as part of a three-year agreement that will see the Festival return in 2012 and 2013.  The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau says they expect the event to attract more than 18,000 visitors, using 2,500 hotel room nights and delivering more than $700,000 in direct hotel spending.

"Cincinnati's vibrant arts and culture scene is a natural setting for the International Quilt Festival," said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The time-honored tradition of quilting is deep in America's roots – especially here in the Midwest. We're honored to be a part of such a great international event that gives us a taste of cultures and styles from around the world and resonates so deeply with so many people. With spending on dining and other activities from local, close regional and out-of-town visitors alike, the economic impact on our region could far surpass the estimates for hotel spending alone."

Organizers say those in attendance can look forward to more than 60 classes and lectures hosted by the Festival's Quiltmaking academy in addition to a sizable offering of books, notions, crafts, patterns, machines and sewing supplies. There will be several special exhibits at the event as well, including Beneath the Surface, The Eye of the Quilter: Reflections and Haiku From You. Full details can be found at the festival's website at www.quilts.com.

"These quilts are truly works of art and Downtown Cincinnati will be buzzing with great art and artists all weekend long," added Lincoln. "The Duke Energy Convention Center will have dozens of pieces on display, celebrating the art of quilting and the international and cultural influences that make it so special."

Tickets are available now and can be purchased online at www.quilts.com or at the door. The event will kick-off with a Preview Night on April 7th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the Festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 8 and 9, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 10.

The International Quilt Festival is helping make 2011 one of Cincinnati USA's best convention years in recent history. Cincinnati USA will host more than 150 conventions, including LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens National Convention, the Prince Hall Shriners convention, and the Elks.

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