$15M in tourism grants focus on Illinois festivals, attractions

Applications are open through September 23.
Pretzel Fest in Freeport is just one of the localities that have already received funding from...
Pretzel Fest in Freeport is just one of the localities that have already received funding from the tourism grant program.(WIFR)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 11:01 AM CDT
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WHEATON, Ill. (WIFR) - On Friday, Governor JB Pritzker announced another $15 million to support Illinois localities and tourism entities hardest-hit by the pandemic.

This is the second round of the Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program offered by the state. This grant is funded using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars.

The first round of funding grant were awarded on a rolling basis with awards ranging from $11,500 to $562,500, with an average award of $243,000 for a total of $10 million.

Through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), localities, tourism and festival businesses, and entities can apply for grants of up to $500,000 to establish, expand or upgrade tourism attractions or festivals. Applications for the second round of funding are open until Friday, September 23.

“From boosting local economies and small businesses to showcasing the beauty of our state, Illinois’ tourism industry contributes more than fun experiences for all of us. It is also about history and community—and preserving the rich, diverse stories that make Illinois a great place to live in and visit,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton.

Local projects that have already received funding include:

  • Freeport, Greater Freeport Partnership; Pretzel City Brewfest Weekend 2022 - $10,000.00
  • Rockford, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden Inc.; Entry Pond and Ornamental Water Feature Project at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden - $75,000.00
  • City of Rockford; Coronado Performing Arts Center restoration and stabilization project - $500,000.00
  • Rockford, Discovery Center Museum of Rockford Inc.; custom designed exhibit: Interactive Kinetic Ball - $50,000.00

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