Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Johnston County Visitors Bureau Awards $14,750 in Special Event Grants

(photo: Left to right seated: Natalie Norris, Ed Knight, Heidi Stump. Left to right standing: Jessica Meadows Hammett, Lee Jackson, Donna Bailey-Taylor)

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau awarded $14,750 in Special Event Grants to 40 recipient events from around the county and checks were distributed at the September 2nd Tourism Authority board meeting.

“For over 20 years, the Johnston County Visitors Bureau has been supporting organizations that host events and festivals, performing arts, and sporting events in the county. Marketing grants help these organizations with advertising and promotional brochures which helps to bring thousands of visitors to Johnston County each year”, said Donna Bailey-Taylor, Executive Director, Johnston County Visitors Bureau.

Ed Knight, President of the Clayton Downtown Development Association, recieved grants for this weekend's Oktoberfest and the 2010 Millstock Music & Art Faire.

List of 2009-2010 Special Event Grant recipients are:

Archer Lodge Family Fun Day 4th - $250
Ava Gardner Museum – Ava Festival - $250
Benson Chamber of Commerce – Mule Days - $1,000
Benson Chamber of Commerce – Sundown in Downtown - $250
Benson Downtown Development – Benson Stroll - $250
Benson Parks & Recreation – 4th of July - $250
Benson State Singing Convention - $500
Bentonville Battlefield 145th Anniversary Reenactment - $1000
Clayton Chamber of Commerce – Harvest Festival - $750
Clayton Area Development Association – Oktoberfest - $250
Clayton Area Development Association – Millstock - $250

Clayton Cultural Arts Foundation – Destino - $250
Clayton Cultural Arts Foundation – John Pizzarcelli - $250
Clayton Youth Theatre – Once On This Island - $250
Clayton Youth Theatre – Pippin - $250
Celebrate Cleveland – July Event - $250
Cleveland Chamber of Commerce – Strawberry Festival - $500
Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation – Ham & Yam - $1,000
Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation – Ava Film Festival - $250
Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce – Oaktober Fest - $250
Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce – Acorn Festival - $500
Johnston Community College – Arboretum Southern Symposium - $250
Johnston Community College – Country Music Showcase - $500
Keep Johnston County Beautiful – Festival of Trees - $250
Kenly Chamber of Commerce – Krusin’ Kenly - $500
McGee’s Crossroads Ringing of the Bells, 4th of July - $250
Neuse Little Theatre – A Few Good Men - $250
Neuse Little Theatre – The Diary of Anne Frank - $250
Selma Development Partnership – East Coast Antique Show - $250
Selma Development Partnership – Selma Car Classic - $250
Selma Parks & Recreation – Railroad Days - $750
Selma Parks & Recreation – All American Fest July 4 - $250
Smithfield Parks & Recreation – 4th of July - $250
Southern Johnston Baseball Association
Tarheel League District V Tournament - $250
Southern Johnston Baseball Association
Southern Johnston Invitational - $250
Tobacco Farm Life Museum – Fall Heritage - $500
Tobacco Farm Life Museum – Anniversary Event- $500
Town of Pine Level – 4th of July - $250
Town of Princeton Veteran’s Day - $250

The NC Division of Tourism recently released the 2008 statewide tourism expenditures numbers and spending in Johnston County was $179.26 million which reflects a 3% increase over 2007 numbers in a very challenging economic climate. Johnston County is the third largest tourism destination along the I-95 Corridor behind Fayetteville and Rocky Mount, and the third largest in the Triangle after Wake and Durham Counties.

Festivals and event promotion is only one part of the Visitors Bureau overall marketing objectives to attract and serve visitors to the county. The mission of the Visitors Bureau is to market the destinations throughout the county, thereby, encouraging utilization of accommodations, retail outlets, restaurants, heritage sites, museums, entertainment, and recreation venues for the community’s economic benefit.

For more information on events around the county and the mission of the Visitors Bureau, visit the bureau’s web site,

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