September 20, 2013 9:38:28 AM
The Mississippi Development Authority has awarded five Columbus and Lowndes County festivals a combined $16,000 through its Tourism Grant Program for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Catfish in the Alley, Market Street Festival and Caledonia Days each received $4,000. The Decorative Arts and Preservation Forum and Dream 365 received $2,000 each.
Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau officials announced the grants in a press release Wednesday. The MDA set aside $250,000 in Tourism Grant Program funds statewide this year.
CVB executive director Nancy Carpenter said the organization wrote letters of support for each event asking MDA to consider them for funding due to their promotion of tourism and economic growth.
"The Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau has enjoyed working with each of these events as it generates a positive experience for visitors and the community," Carpenter said in the release. "We appreciate the Mississippi Development Authority for appropriating funds for the marketing and advertising of festivals and events in the state of Mississippi. These events will benefit immensely from the grants."
Columbus Mayor Robert Smith recognized Carpenter during Tuesday's city council meeting for her efforts to request financial support for Catfish in the Alley.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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