By Paige Nash
The Webster Parish Commission and Visitors Commission (WPCVC) offers advertising grants to assist in promoting local events, shows, festivals and more. These grants can be applied for through their website and usually range in amounts from $1,000 to $6,000.
Administrative Assistant for WPCVC Johnnye Kennon provided the tourism board with a 10-year grant report from 2003- 2023 at their bi-monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 27.
“In 20 years, to date, we have given out over $1,061,642.57 in grants. We have been good stewards, but we have also been promoters of everything in Webster Parish,” said Kennon.
Some of the events over the years that have received grants from WPCVC include, the Burn Run hosted by Brother’s Keepers, St. Jude’s Car Show, many events in support of Cultural Crossroads of Minden, Dorcheat Museum, Heflin Sawmill Festival, Germantown’s Bluegrass Festival, Main to Main, Scottish Tartan Festival, Piney Hills Trails and Trellises, Springhill’s annual Lumberjack Festival and Rodeo, Sarepta’s Christmas Festival, Vintage Car Club of Minden’s Car Show and many more.
Another event that receives an advertising grant from the WPCVC on an annual basis is the City of Minden’s Holiday Trail of Lights.
President of the Minden Main Street Board of Directors Shawn Hatcher attended this month’s tourism meeting to discuss some possible upgrades to the Holiday Trail of Lights for 2023, including new Nutcrackers.
“We’ve discussed the need for new nutcrackers,” said Gray. “We are down to nine. Where in the past there were dozens of them that lined the street.”
To purchase 40 new nutcrackers, it amounts to approximately $25,000. According to Hatcher, it has been 25-30 years since new ones were purchased.
The tourism board is considering entering into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the City of Minden to assist in covering some of the costs for the improvements to the Holiday Trail of Lights event.
Other improvements to be expected this year include new lights, decorations, wiring, bulbs, staging and entertainment, in which the City of Minden has already invested approximately $30,000. Establishing designated parking and having a shuttle or trolley taking festival-goers to and from those parking areas is also a possibility, along with a “Wine Walk” where participants will have the option to enjoy appetizers and specialty drinks from restaurants and vendors along Main Street on Friday evening.
Other grants approved at the September meeting include Springhill Rodeo in the amount of $2,500, the Farm of Cultural Crossroads’ Minden Makers Fair, Springhill Chamber of Commerce’s Mistletoe Market, Springhill Main Street’s Christmas Extravaganza and LaMa Animal Rescue all in the amount of $2,000.