23 WI fairs share in grants totaling $27M supporting tourism and entertainment

Wisconsin State Farmer
Grant awards to 23 Wisconsin county fairs ranged from $35,000 to $200,000.

Twenty-three fairs, a cranberry festival and ag tourism attraction shared in more than $27 million in grants that were awarded to 204 event venues and live event small businesses throughout the state.

The latest award is part of Gov. Tony Evers $140 million investment to support Wisconsin's tourism and entertainment industries. 

“These businesses play a critical role in building a strong economy as they bring people together from all over the state and country for weddings, family reunions, business conferences, and so much more,” said Gov. Evers in a news release. “From Belmont to Washington Island, these funds will help bolster more than 200 small businesses and event venues across our state, which are an essential part of our communities and our state's entertainment industries.” 

Awards to the 23 county fairs ranged from $35,000 to $200,000. Each year Wisconsin is home to more than 75 county fairs, 3 district fairs and the Wisconsin State Fair.

Also receiving $200,000 grant monies was Warrens Cranberry Festival and the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center.

“So many faced challenges over the last two years, and now as we head into the holiday season, these grants are giving our communities an extra reason to celebrate,” said Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Joel Brennan.

The event venue and live event small business assistance grants were created to address the revenue shortfalls experienced by event venues and small businesses that cater to live events during the pandemic. The combined programs are funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act and administered by DOA.