Board to consider festival grants

By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Festival grant funding for the first half of 2013 will be discussed on Monday by trustees of the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bureau executive director Nancy Carpenter tells the Commercial Dispatch (http://bit.ly/VCx5MF)that the grant committee made funding recommendations Nov. 27, and the board will vote on them during Monday’s meeting.

This is the first time bureau has divided funding requests into two rounds. A second round — for the second half of the year — will be considered in spring. Festival funding is also now divided into two categories — tourism events and quality-of-life events.

Tourism events can be funded a maximum of $15,000, and they must spend 25 percent of their money on marketing and advertising, Carpenter said.

“Each day, the event should draw visitors from greater than 100 miles of Columbus to stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores,” she said.

Tourism events applying for 2013 funding were Market Street Festival, Juneteenth Festival, Grilling on the River and the new Memphis BBQ Invitational. Quality of life events applying for funding were Artesia Days, Townsend Blues Festival and Crawford Cotton Boll.

Market Street Festival and Juneteenth both sought $15,000 and the grant committee recommended each organization receive that amount.

The Townsend Blues Festival received $12,000 last year but applied as a quality of life event for 2013 under the new guidelines, seeking $8,000.

Crawford Cotton Boll, a quality of life event, received $4,500 last year. The committee voted to fund it at $6,500.

One new event, the Memphis BBQ Invitational, requested $14,950. The event will be held March 6-9 at the Columbus Fairgrounds.