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Richmond mixed history and faith at the 2011 GOF Conference

Elegba Folklore Society

“History welcomes faith.” That was the theme created by Visit Richmond for the seventh annual Going On Faith Conference, and this iconic and historic Virginia city made sure the event lived up to its billing.

More than 325 delegates, including nearly 170 faith-based travel planners from 29 states, gathered for America’s premier faith-based travel conference Aug. 23-25 and the host city did history proud.

“Even an earthquake couldn’t shake Richmond’s resolve to put itself on the map with these faith-based travel planners,” said conference CEO Joe Cappuzzello. “From one event to the next, the Richmond team was on top of every detail. And these travel planners will come back with groups in the years ahead as a result.”

After the excitement of an eastern seaboard earthquake that generated lots of nationwide buzz but little actual damage, the conference kicked off with a dazzling opening event at the Virginia Science Center that included an exhilarating program by the Elegba Folklore Society, Richmond’s own African cultural society.

The following evening, the city took delegates to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens for an outdoor event that was graced by wonderfully temperate weather and superb entertainment from the West End Assembly of God church. This horticultural gem features many gardens and a classical domed conservatory. Volunteer docents greeted delegates and walked them through the grounds in small groups.

“When you consider that we had two days of very productive travel buying sessions in our Marketplace, a gorgeous afternoon of sightseeing, and enjoyed wonderful breakfasts and lunches thanks to our many sponsors, this was another major step for the only conference of its kind in the country,” said Cappuzzello. “We expect to see all these folks and many more next year in Rock Hill, S.C., for the 2012 Going On Faith Conference.”

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