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Festival planners seek more funds

February 05, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg Heritage Festival organizers asked the Town Council Monday night for $5,000, a $2,000 increase over the town's regular contribution.

Festival organizers don't know yet if they will get any grant money from the Maryland Arts Council or the Washington County Arts Council, said festival organizer Skip Lushbaugh. If they do get money, it will be less than they usually get, she said.

The group hasn't heard from its third grant source, Maryland Humanities, Lushbaugh said. While the festival received $4,000 last year in hotel-motel tax revenue, it will not get any money this year, she said.

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Last September's festival cost $23,200, and costs are rising, Lushbaugh said.

The price for one of the bands went from $500 to $1,600, Lushbaugh said. The bands come from all over the country so it's understandable their costs have gone up, she said. If the town wants to continue providing quality music at the event, it will cost more, she said.

Mayor Sidney Gale suggested town officials attend the next festival meeting to discuss the situation further before the council decides whether to approve a funding increase.

That meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Town Hall.

The festival will be held Sept. 13 and 14.

In other festival news, Lushbaugh said the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co. will allow the festival to have its catered turkey dinner at the fire company's facilities on the evening of Sept. 13. The dinner previously was held at the Episcopal church.

The move will make it easier to feed more people and the facility is accessible to the handicapped, Lushbaugh said.

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