Quilters' Convention could pump millions into E. Tennessee economy

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- Millions of dollars and thousands of visitors will be coming to Knoxville over the next three years for a premier international event, according to Knoxville tourism leaders.

The American Quilter's Society has signed a three year contract that will bring 45 million dollars to Knoxville.

Over ten thousand visitors will come to the International Quilter's Convention in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The four day event will bring people from 45 states and 15 countries.

Hundreds of contest quilts will be on display, and the American Quilter's Society will award $10,000 to the best in show in recognition of quilt makers, artisty and technique.

More than $40,000 will be awarded in total to winners in Knoxville, per year.

350 booths will be available for antique and new quilts for sale, quilt making supplies, and a variety of quilt-related gifts.

"In my mind, quilts are very special, I think they represent history and heritage and culture and faith and family," said Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale during a news conference this morning. "So the group you're bringing fits it just perfect with the type of community we have."

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