WILMINGTON — The county visitors bureau will tap into its savings in 2019, and plans to spend $278,000 more than it did last year, with much of the funds going toward local festivals.
The Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) executive director and the executive assistant met with the county commissioners this week to present an annual report about the agency.
Among the 2019 festivals that will be the beneficiaries of CVB dollars are the annual Red White & Blanchester Blue event for the Fourth of July, the Banana Split Festival in June, the Nowhere Else Festival during Memorial Day Weekend near Martinsville, Jeep Jam in August, and the second annual Rock the Block in July.
When CVB Executive Director Susan Valentine-Scott spoke Monday with commissioners, she hadn’t signed contracts yet but said she is anticipating a couple “must-see” acts for the Banana Split Festival. And the CVB will also bring in the headliner for the Jeep Jam, which last year had Molly Hatchet and Moccasin Creek for live entertainment.
Rock the Block had its test launch last summer, said Valentine-Scott. It was the grand finale of Murphy Theatre’s weeklong schedule of 100th anniversary events, and was conceived and sponsored by the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“It went over very well. We had a very successful event and it made the Murphy about $20,000 [as a fundraiser],” she said.
This year Valentine-Scott hopes to collaborate with Main Street Wilmington on Rock the Block.
And there appears to be interest in a second Rock the Block. “We just posted a teaser and we have reached like 5,000 people” in the first 48 hours, with some 150 shares, she said.
At last year’s multi-act program, the two headliners were Jack Russell’s Great White and FireHouse.
In addition to landing big acts for live performances, the CVB is also doing sponsorships, the executive director said. That includes $15,000 for the planned new castle playground at J.W. Denver Williams Jr. Memorial Park, and it also includes a just approved $10,000 to the Murphy Theatre for programming, said Valentine-Scott.
Funds generated by the local lodging tax are getting put back into the community, she said.
“We’re real happy with the direction we’re going,” said Valentine-Scott, who in April will mark her second anniversary on the job.
Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty said he loves how the funds are being put into local events.
The visitors bureau has been a sponsor of the Wilmington College summer community theatre program, Valentine-Scott said. The CVB also will be involved with the Spring Nationals Truck & Tractor Pull at the county fairgrounds in June.
In November 2018, Clinton County Senior Fair Board President Scot Gerber said the county CVB had contacted the fair board and there’s a possibility the CVB will become involved with the fair. For one thing, he said, perhaps the CVB could assist with some of the entertainment at the fairgrounds.
At her commissioners appointment, Valentine-Scott announced that the part of the Jeep Jam event that’s called Show & Shine where people can check out hundreds of Jeeps on display will be moving from the downtown to a park.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.