Algoma chamber to receive $10,000 grant from state to promote local events to visitors
ALGOMA – The Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce was awarded a $10,000 grant from the state's Destination Marketing Organization Grant Program.
The chamber plans to use the grant for printing and distributing its Friendly Algoma Visitors Guide, including expanding its distribution to new markets and making more people aware of Algoma's attractions, said Ken Weinaug, the chamber's executive director.
The chamber was able to put on its usual slate of community events in 2021 — most notably the weekend-long Shanty Days and Soar on the Shore kite festival — after almost all were called off the year before because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Weinaug said this year's events not only were well-attended but drew visitors from far-off locations.
"We saw a lot of people, especially from Iowa, come up to Algoma for our summer events," Weinaug said.
The Wisconsin Department of Administration, with guidance from the state Department of Tourism, awarded a total of $15 million in grants to 120 local destination marketing organizations across the state, ranging from $2,000 to $1 million individually. Funds came from the state's share of the American Rescue Plan Act launched by the federal government to help get through the pandemic.
Looking ahead to the 2022 tourist season, Weinaug said the chamber is bringing back all the events it presented this year, some with enhancements from past years. Among other things, he noted they're hoping to turn the weekly performances in the summer Concerts in the Park series into more of an event. For example, the opening concert in the series next year will feature horn-powered R&B band Stephen Cooper and the Nobody Famous, and the chamber is planning to hold it as a 1950s-style event with a car show and more.
Weinaug also said the organization is working on ways to feature Crescent Beach in more of its events. The beach on the Lake Michigan shoreline with the nearby lighthouse is where Soar on the Shore is held and plays host to other events during Shanty Days. Weinaug said the chamber plans to work with the Friends of Crescent Beach volunteer support group to highlight it even more.
"One of the things we looked at is to make more use of our beach," Weinaug said. "It's one of the biggest assets we have."
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
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This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Algoma chamber to receive $10,000 grant from state to promote local events to visitors