VCVB ups support for RiverFest, Tapestry

Published 11:30 am Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau will provide financial assistance to RiverFest and Tapestry to the tune of about $17,500.

VCVB’s Board of Directors Tuesday approved a $15,000 sponsorship for RiverFest, which runs April 25 and 26, and about $2,500 for Tapestry, which runs April 3-26.

Sponsorship for RiverFest is split between $10,000 for advertising the event and $5,000 cash, which goes directly to the RiverFest board for expenses.

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It’s a marked increase in support over last year for Tapestry, which received nothing from VCVB last year, and for RiverFest, which got $9,000 from the tourism promotion board for the 2013 edition of the spring music and art festival.

“This year, we have a great lineup of entertainment,” RiverFest board president Christy Pecanty said, announcing that country music star Colt Ford will headline the list of acts for the Saturday night entertainment. The board announced earlier that the “redneck rock” band Blackjack Billy, will also perform that Saturday.

Pecanty said other performers booked for the festival include the band Van Camp, from Baton Rouge, and Stagger Lee, with lead singer Katie Robertson, daughter of Warren Central High School choir director Nancy Robertson.

The RiverFest board in 2013 hired more local entertainers and lowered admission prices from $20 to $10 per person as part of a move to get more people to attend. Last year’s music and arts and crafts festival drew an estimated 7,000 people, down from 7,500 in 2012.

Funds approved for Tapestry will help the Vicksburg Bed & Breakfast Association print brochures for the annual program.

The Bed & Breakfast Association, which sponsors the spring pilgrimage and tour of homes, initially requested $1,200 to print the brochures, but the board increased the amount at the recommendation of VCVB executive director Bill Seratt.

Seratt said the money requested by the association was insufficient to cover the cost of printing enough brochures to be distributed locally and to state visitor centers in other areas of the state. The $2,500, he said, would cover the printing of about 5,000 brochures.

Begun in 2009, Tapestry features tours of some of the city’s historic homes and areas. About 1,000 people visited the homes on the 2013 tour. In 2012, the number was 1,175.

In other action, the board:

• Learned the January reimbursement from the 2 percent hospitality tax was down about $8,456 from 2013. The reimbursement for January 2013 was $89,928.33. It was $81,471.94 this year’s. Hospitality tax reimbursements run two months behind, for the revenue for January represented tax collected in November.

In a related matter, the board learned the hotel occupancy rate for January was 45.8 percent, down 4.8 percent from January 2013.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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