HELENA – For the first time this year, the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation awards ceremony will include a new honor to recognize individuals or organizations for their contributions to promoting Montana’s history and culture.

The new award is called the Heritage and Cultural Tourism award.

This year’s finalists include the Crown of the Continent Discovery Center in West Glacier, the River and Plains Society, the Fort Benton museums, the Upper Swan Valley Historical Society and the Western Heritage Center in Billings.

The Montana Historical Society is among the many booths on hand at the event to answer questions and help promote some of the many historical recreational activities tourists can do in the state.

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For Historical Society, the highlight is putting visitors in touch with Montana’s extensive and varied history, starting at the state Capitol and moving out to every corner of the state.

Historical Society Development and Marketing Officer Susan Near said there are no shortage of historical events that draw people to Montana.

“On the top of their lists are big event type of things: the Little Bighorn Battlefield, for example, the Lewis and Clark history, our cowboy history. But we’re here to also point out that there’s a lot of other aspects of our history that is of interest to people in all corners of our state,” Near said.

The winner of this year’s Heritage and Cultural Tourism award will be announced at the awards banquet Monday night, which will include remarks from Governor Steve Bullock.