(NRG)- Nebraska's tourism industry professionals honored their peers at the Celebrate Nebraska Awards Gala Thursday evening at the Quality Inn & Suites/Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte. The event capped the annual Nebraska Tourism Conference organized by the Nebraska Tourism Commission and hosted by the North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau. State Senator Schilz and Nebraska Tourism Commission President John Chapo announced the 2014 Nebraska Travel Industry award winners which included a traditional Kearney summer event. The Outstanding Event Award for communities with populations greater than 10,000 was given to Kearney Cruise Nite presented by the Central Nebraska Auto Club. This year marked the 27th Anniversary of Kearney's Cruise Nite. Since the very first Cruise Nite, the event has expanded to a Show & Shine car display, stereo competition, burn-out contest, parade and street dance. This five-day event has been reported to generate more than $3 million in expenditures, and a majority of those dollars are spent in the tourism market on lodging, shopping, entertainment, fuel and food. Local lodging properties also reported that most are at 98% occupancy or higher during Cruise Nite weekend. This year's Cruise Nite had an outstanding 600 vehicles lining the streets of Downtown Kearney, as well as a record-setting turnout of approximately 38,000 spectators.