The Troy Fair, Bradford County’s biggest and oldest, will get a big boost in 2018 with help from room tax grants through the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency. Grants for $10,000 and $7,000 were recently given to the fair association and Alparon Park (above), where the annual fair is held.
By Rick Hiduk
The Bradford County Commissioners approved the disbursement on Thursday of $87,550 in grants to 25 entities for event promotion and enhancements in the coming year. A five-member panel reviewed 39 applications on Oct. 30 and made their recommendations to the commissioners through BCTPA director Robyn Chamberlain.
This was the first time, Chamberlain noted, that municipalities vied for funding to help with local events that are often the respective community’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
“The committee feels very strongly about helping them to promote their events outside the county to bring people here,” Chamberlain explained at the commissioners meeting on Nov. 9. Drawing visitors to Bradford County is a cycle that perpetuates itself, she added. “They stay here. They shop here, They eat here.” Thus, they generate more room tax revenue, which is realized from hotel and bed & breakfast stays. Municipalities in the mix included Sayre and Towanda, each receiving $2,000.
Among the recipients of the largest amounts were the Troy Fair, Bradford County Regional Arts Council, Rekindle the Spirit, Alparon Park, Bradford County Historical Society, French Azilum, Inc., and Sayre Historical Society, each getting at least $6,000.
Asked if there were any recipients that she was particularly excited about, Chamberlain cited the Greater Wyalusing Chamber of Commerce, which plans to reinvigorate its popular Quilted Corners Tour, and Arts4All. “Their chair had stepped down, and people rallies to rebrand themselves and keep their project moving forward,” she remarked. The aforementioned received $5,500 each.
“We build on our five Chamber (of commerce),” Commissioner Doug McLinko said of the process employed by the BCTPA, which was created after Bradford County pulled away from the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau four years ago. This is the third year that the BCTPA has disbursed funds.
Room Tax funds are also used for the BCTPA’s calendar of events, of which 60,000 were initially printed and another 8,000 requested. McLinko encouraged municipalities and smaller non-profit organizations to contact Chamberlain if there are any events, like chicken barbecues and family-style dinners, that should be added to the list. Chamberlain related that an interactive website will be ready in 2018 for such groups to add their events to an evolving online calendar.
Remaining grant recipients and the amounts received are as follows: Troy Historical Society, $1,000; Home Textile Tool Museum, $1,500; LeRoy Heritage Museum, $4,000; Wyalusing Community Corporation, $600; Bradford County Heritage Association, $3,500; Monroe Hose Company, $1,000; Sayre Public Library, $500; Animal Care Sanctuary, $1,000; Central Bradford County Chamber of Commerce, $2,000; Winding River Players, $800; Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, $1,650; Bradford County YMCA, 1,500; Spalding Memorial Library/Tioga Point Museum, $500; and Wyalusing Valley Museum, $3,000.