April festivals bring more sales tax revenue

By Paige Nash

April was a busy month for the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission (WPCVC) between the Scottish Tartan Festival held at Miller Quarters, the installation of a brand-new kayak dock on Bayou Dorcheat and the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) tournament at Camp Minden. 

“Last year, if you recall, a lot of the festivals fell on the same day and that was a traffic jam that nobody wanted,” said WPCVC Executive Director Serena Gray. “So, Johnnye (Kennon) and I worked really hard to spread those festivals out throughout the month of April.” 

According to the parish sales tax report, there was an increase of 6.98 percent for April 2023 in comparison to the sales tax revenue collected in April of last year.   

The City of Minden also saw an increase of 11 percent in local sales tax revenue.  

The Scottish Tartan Festival brought in approximately 1,700 visitors.  

“I saw people out there at the current location that I have never seen come out to Dr. Cameron’s Farm,” said Commissioner Tracy Campbell. “I think that was a great spot but being in the heart of downtown Minden just brought people in from Shreveport-Bossier. They were everywhere and it was encouraging to see that kind of activity for a Minden festival.” 

The Scottish Tartan Festival board has not made a final decision yet, whether they will continue to host the festival at Miller Quarters Park. 

Gray said, “They haven’t given us a final yes, but all of the feedback has been positive.” 

The ASA Tournament at Camp Minden was a weekend-long event and brought in 1,500 attendees from shooters, sponsors, vendors and spectators. People traveled from 43 states and 2 countries, including Denmark and Canada.  

The tourism board also hosted a Spring paddle event at Lake Bistineau State Park the first Saturday of May. The event brought in about 150 attendees from 4 states, 6 parishes and 3 international countries- 2 people from Germany, 2 from Canada and 1 from Mexico.  

““They did not travel into Minden because they saw the paddle, but they were in Shreveport and saw the event and decided to drive in and attend it,” said Gray.” When they go back home, they are going to tell their friends about this awesome paddle they went on and share the photos. We really are giving our lake here international exposure by having people on the water that are from these other countries.” 

The WPCVC will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony and demonstration at the newly launched kayak dock located in Dixie Inn along Bayou Dorcheat on Friday, June 2. The next day, Saturday, June 3, will be their first of two Moonlight Paddle events being held this summer.