And the start of the show always means some announcements pop up, take for instance the announcement of the 2010 inductees into the IAAPA Hall of Fame:
• Bob Rogers of BRC Imagination Arts - Founder of BRC Imagination Arts, a company that has produced theme park and museum experiences for decades - including two pavilions at the recent 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
• Will Koch of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari - Former owner and President, Will worked to turn Holiday World into a large theme and water park that has legions of fans. He also pioneered programs such as free parking, soda, and sun lotion for guests. Will passed away this past June at age 48.
• Don Clayton of Putt-Putt Golf and Games - Founder of Putt-Putt, Don started the mini-golf craze that spread the nation and created an entire new form of active entertainment. The first Putt-Putt opened in North Carolina in 1954.
• Daniel Hudson Burnham of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair - Charged with being the planner of the Midway Plaisance at the Chicago Fair, he helped revolutionize the concept of the World's Fair midway. The Midway Plaisance featured a mile long path lined with rides and vendors, as well as the world's largest Ferris wheel.
The 2010 recipient of the Applause Award was also announced today, congratulations go out to Dollywood for winning this year.
The 2010 nominees included Dollywood, Alton Towers, and Phatasialand - thats some competition that I would not want to face!
According to this report, Dolly said that she plans to put the award in a museum at the theme park so that everyone can enjoy it.
The 2010 THEA Awards, presented by the Themed Entertainment Association, were also announced today. The awards are given to the best projects and individuals in the themed entertainment industry each year.
This year the Buzz Price lifetime achievement award was present to Disney's Kim Irvine, Art Director at Disneyland. Other winners include World of Color for best Nighttime Spectacular at Disney California Adventure, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in multiple categories.
A complete list of the winners is available here.