PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced millions in grant funding coming to boost tourism in Illinois.
According to a press release, $22.5 million in grant funding will be coming to 89 projects across Illinois. The money is part of the Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant program, which is designed to support local festivals and attractions and drive tourism across the state.
Several local projects that will be receiving funding include:
- Peoria Park District- $114,675 in funding for seven cultural festivals at the Peoria Riverfront.
- Village of Peoria Heights – $16,572 in funding for the Taste of Peoria Heights, Peoria Heights Fine Arts Fair, and Christmas market.
- Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City – $150,970 in funding for improvements to the wolf and cougar enclosures and the purchase of animals for Wildlife Prairie Park.
- National Railroad Hall of Fame in Galesburg – $478,414 in funding to construct the National Railroad Hall of Fame.
- Fulton Historical Society – $350,000 in funding for improvements to the Fidelity-Drives Building in Fulton to expand the authentic full-scale Windmill and Windmill Cultural Center.
“Illinois is the best place in the nation to visit, and now that people are finding that out through our marketing, our tourism economy is booming,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program has been a vital part of that success by restoring and enhancing the great events across our state that draw visitors from around the world. When we invest in projects like these — it reverberates beyond just one event or exhibit. It benefits entire communities — from small business owners who get to attract more customers to families with young children who get to enjoy all that Illinois has to offer.”
$5 million of the total grant funding was reserved for festivals and $17.5 million was reserved for tourism-related projects, including museums and live performance venues.
A full list of funded projects is available here.