Sesqui Grant

May 1, 1998

River Falls Receives Sesqui Promotional Grant

River Falls' Sesquicentennial Celebration has received a substantial boost with a promotional and advertising grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

A total of $14,265 was awarded to the City of River Falls Sesquicentennial Committee through a Joint Effort Marketing Program grant that provides three dollars for each spent by the committee to promote the city's celebration weekend of Sept. 24-26.

"We're really pleased to receive state support for our birthday celebration," said Janet Olson Halaas, Main Street Project coordinator and Sesqui committee chair. "This will help to ensure that as the residents of River Falls celebrate our city's birthday that we will benefit from a significant economic impact by drawing visitors to our events."

The committee includes representation from the City of River Falls, Main Street Project, River Falls School District, River Falls Chapter of the Pierce County Historical Society, and UW-River Falls.

UW-RF Public Affairs Director Mark Kinders said the direct mail and advertising campaign will target Twin Cities residents who are likely to enjoy the wide mix of cultural and historical performances and presentations set for the celebration weekend.

"The campaign merges successful past strategies that we have developed for the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp, the UW-RF Wyman Performance Series, the St. Croix Valley Regional Tourism Alliance, with those from the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua's independent marketing activities. We'll be supported with strong technical assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and its advertising agency, Laughlin/Constable," Kinders said.

He noted that another benefit to River Falls is the grant guidelines allow renewal for three years. That will allow the Main Street Project to work with groups that are participating in the Sesqui celebration to obtain marketing and advertising grant dollars to build a solid customer base for future years.

Kinders credited the strong mix of River Falls and Wisconsin Sesquicentennial events scheduled for the weekend in convincing the Tourism Department to fund the initiative. "We received a lot of help from outgoing grants administrator Sharon Berge and northern Wisconsin department representative Ruth Goetz for helping to shape the grant application. They were important to our success, both for the Sesqui weekend and into the future."

Major activities to be promoted include: Art on the Kinni; Antique Quilt Display; Wisconsin Historical Touring Display; 150 Years of Wisconsin History in Letters; Historic Window Displays; St. Croix Valley Wisconsin Placenames Presentation; The History of Wisconsin Mining Presentation and Display; River Falls History Slide Show; the original play, "Entering the Circle"; an all-city Ecumenical Service; and Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Show.

Kinders also said a toll-free phone number has been established to take ticket orders for the Big Top Chautauqua Show. Tickets, including discounts, can be obtained by calling 1-888-689-8247.

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