The 2023 Annual Tourism award winners include
(back row) David Thomas, Brenham Heritage
Museum; Hank Ward, Old Baylor Park; Jerry
Newman, The Barnhill House Toys and Books;
Raymond Davis, Jet Set Chocolates; Cameron
Crawford, HSF Biergarten; and Barry Brass, Lifetime
Achievement; (middle row) Peggy Ward, Old Baylor
Park; Betsy Newman, The Barnhill House Toys and
Gifts; Tiffany Howard, Glamfetti; Debbie Davis, Jet
Set Chocolates; Sharon Brass, Lifetime Achievement;
and Joel Romo, representing Chappell Hill Historical
Society; (front row) Sara, Sofia and Alma Rojas, A
Little Piece of Mexico; Tiffany Morisak, Brenham
Heritage Museum; Allison Crowson, White Horse
Tavern; and Terry Meaux and Mary Ann Schulte,
representing Stacey Walters and Tres Chic. Also
pictured (in middle row): Makenzie Curlee.
(courtesy Visit Brenham)

Washington County’s tourism partners were honored on Wednesday for their contributions to the community.

The Visit Brenham/Washington County Destination Marketing Organization hosted an awards party to celebrate the accomplishments of numerous local businesses and organizations.

Awards presented at the event include (award descriptions courtesy Visit Brenham):

Shining Star Award - Allison Crowson, White Horse Tavern

This little business has had a big impact on its community with its warm atmosphere and friendliness, home cooking and toe tapping entertainment that keeps a smile on everyone’s face. When you combine the perfect watering hole, delicious food and live music you have Allison Crowson’s White Horse Tavern in Burton, Texas.

Local Love Award - Raymond Davis family, Jet Set Chocolates

This family business has embraced and supported the community from its inception, appearing regularly at a variety of community events. They are huge advocates of shopping local and do a great job of promoting Washington County to visitors who come into their store. We honor the sweet Raymond Davis family at Jet Set Chocolates.

Family Friendly Award - Betsy and Jerry Newman, The Barnhill House Toys and Books

When happiness is your business goal, success is sure to follow. That one word describes our recipient this year whose business began in a garage in about 2000 and grew to fill a house on South Austin Street. Is there a heart’s desire toy or book your child or grandchild wishes for? Just visit this family-friendly business in that house cram-jammed with goodies for shoppers from 8 to 80. Congratulations to Betsy and Jerry Newman with The Barnhill House Toys and Books.

Social Media Award - Tiffany Howard, Glamfetti

This business had a strong presence on social media even before they relocated to Brenham and that presence has only grown since then. They throw the most colorful parties, and they inspire followers to host their own festive events by creatively and consistently documenting their craft on social media. They always look like they are having fun, and we don’t want to miss out! That’s why we follow Tiffany Howard and Glamfetti, our Social Media Award winners.

Picture Perfect Award - Peggy and Hank Ward, Old Baylor Park

This tourist site has been a visitor favorite for decades in Washington County. Welcomed by massive oak trees, easy parking and plenty of room to take in Texas history, this year-round beauty makes it an ideal location for everything from family picnics to romantic proposals. And don’t forget the wildflowers! Old Baylor Park in Independence, represented by Peggy and Hank Ward, is our Picture Perfect recipient.

Spotlight Award - Stacey Walters, Tres Chic Boutique

This successful Downtown store owner’s love for the community is evident is how she uses her business’s social media presence to promote others. She regularly highlights other businesses and individuals, recognizing them for the good things they are doing. Now it’s your turn, Stacey Walters with Tres Chic, to be spotlighted for your positivity that is so contagious.

Outside of the Box Award - Sara Rojas, A Little Piece of Mexico

Opening the doors to her storefront one week before the pandemic in 2020 shut down everything presented challenges. With perseverance and creativity, in three short years this business owner was able to enjoy a spotlight on Houston’s Channel 13, as well as being chosen as one of three Texas influencers to collaborate with HEB and M&Ms for their limited edition of Dia de Los Muertos candy packaging. Congratulations to Sara Rojas with A Little Piece of Mexico.

Legacy Award - Chappell Hill Historical Society Festivals

Legacy, an inheritance, perfectly describes our recipient. For some 60 years, visitors and Washington Countians alike have enjoyed the Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas, followed in the fall by the Scarecrow Festival. Both bring thousands of visitors to Chappell Hill’s historic downtown and provide an opportunity for festival goers to enjoy a family-friendly event complete with live music, hundreds of juried arts & craft vendors, and activities for the entire family. Congratulations to the Chappell Hill Historical Society’s Festivals.

Visionary Award - Brenham Heritage Museum

This recipient has a lot of experience with looking back and capturing the story of Washington County. After many years of fundraising, planning, and finding ways to overcome roadblocks and hurdles, our community now has a museum that is one we can all take great pride in. It honors our past for current and future generations. Congratulations to the board, the staff, the volunteers, the donors and all who have given so much to provide our county with the Brenham Heritage Museum.

Partner of the Year Award - Cameron Crawford, HSF Biergarten

The live music scene in Downtown Brenham was revived almost a decade ago, started by one small business that impacted tourism in a big way. Following the pandemic, the new owners kept it going and thriving with new events, delicious food, and live music that you can count on every weekend. The owner also serves on the Texas Music Friendly Committee and the Texas Arts and Music Festival Board. Congratulations to Cameron Crawford and HSF Biergarten.

Lifetime Achievement Award - Sharon and Barry Brass

Brenham and Washington County received a gift when this couple decided to start a business here following successful corporate jobs. Their love of our County grew and became evident early, as each found ways to volunteer and contribute.

Award recipients several times over, whether it’s research, portraying local characters, designing rack cards and brochures for Main Street, or planning and conducting tours in The Barnhill Center, around Downtown or the County, the passion this couple has for Washington County has been evident for years. We’ve just scratched the surface of their dedication in the past, we know there is more to come. These two remain committed to telling the stories of our communities to locals and visitors alike. Congratulations, Sharon and Barry Brass.

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One Comment

  1. This article brought a smile to my face. I’m happy to live in a county that recognizes the people behind the businesses that go the extra mile to keep our Texas charm. Congratulations to all of the winners and to all of the people/businesses who were considered for rewards!

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