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Sharpsburg Heritage Festival organizers seek funding

January 11, 2002

Sharpsburg Heritage Festival organizers seek funding



By JULIE E. GREENE
julieg@herald-mail.com


SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg Heritage Festival organizers are asking the town for more money this year after learning they no longer would get annual funding from Washington County's tourism bureau.

Festival organizers are asking for $5,000 to help maintain the level of music and lectures provided at the late summer event, according to a letter to town officials.

Usually the festival gets $3,000 from the town, the letter states.

The event also has gotten up to $2,000 a year from the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, but the bureau will no longer provide those funds now that organizers for such events can apply for hotel tax funds, Executive Director Ben R. Hart said.

Festival organizers have applied for $8,500 in hotel tax funds, Washington County Planning Director Bob Arch said. There are 45 requests totaling $1.3 million for an as yet unknown amount of hotel tax revenue.

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Festival spokeswoman Skip Lushbaugh is concerned the festival won't be able compete with the other applicants, including the 140th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Antietam that will be held the same Sept. 14-15 weekend as the festival.

The Washington County Commissioners have allocated $25,000 in hotel tax revenue for the Civil War re-enactment in the fiscal 2002-03 budget, which has yet to be approved, Arch said.

The heritage festival's expenses last year cost $27,000, including $5,400 for music and approximately $1,500 for lectures, Lushbaugh said.

Last year, the festival featured period music from groups that traveled from Ireland and Canada, Lushbaugh said.

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