Tourism is so important to almost every town. Tourism brings people and people bring money. It's as simple as that.

Visit Owatonna has announced the 2019 Tourism Award winners. They will be recognized on Wednesday, May 15 at the Owatonna Country Club during the Award Luncheon. The public is invited.

The winners are:

Attraction to Tom Bonacci for Cottage 11 at the Orphanage Museum site

Events to Ginny Bergerson and Jessica Abrahams for their work on the Bold and Cold Winter Festival

Lodging goes to Kelly Boomgarden of the Country Inn and Suites

Restaurant winner is Gar Olsen and SpareTime Entertainment.

Retail award goes to Cindy Stelter of Central Park Framing and Fines

The Owatonna Tourism Champion is Loren Dietz for his work organizing Corky's Early Bird Softball Tournament.

The Innovation in Tourism winner is Mark Woodrich of The Music Space in Owatonna

Here's some information and video clips of a couple acts coming to this summer's Steele County Free Fair. Check it out here