ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany-Dougherty Convention and Visitors Bureau has won a photo contest spotlighting the community and will be given a free 30-second television ad for any tourism site of their choosing.
Sponsored by the Georgia Production Partnership, the contest was meant to spotlight various communities around Georgia. The winning entry, a photo of interwoven oak trees on Rosedale Avenue, was taken by the CVB's Liz Gray.
The award was announced on CVB Director Lisa Riddle's Facebook page Friday morning and was accompanied by a congratulatory message for Gray.
The award will allow the CVB to promote Albany and Dougherty County through the free ad to a considerable number of people through the scope and reach of the Internet.
"(The award) is going to give us another avenue to advertise Albany and its resources without having to spend any money," Riddle said Friday. "I think we all know that's a good thing."
Riddle and others at the CVB hope that the award is a good omen for the entity, which is heavily involved now in organizing its biggest event of the year -- the Rock Roll and Run in Downtown Albany during the first weekend in March.
Riddle said one of the events, the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon, has already seen a spike in its registrants with a 40 percent increase so far, Riddle said.
Local bank SB&T has also joined the growing list of local sponsors for the weekend, which will include the marathon, a bike race through downtown and a festival.
The festival, officially tagged the Mardi Gras Street Festival, has received criticism in recent years because it has generally occurred during Lent, a religious period of fasting and atonement.
This year, festival organizers won't have that problem given that the weekend happens during the traditional Mardi Gras period.