In its September 27 meeting the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) voted to provide $51,500 in grants to support 13 community festivals and events.

Utilizing discretionary advertising revenue from the ExploreAsheville.com website, BCTDA developed a Festivals and Cultural Events Support Fund in early 2016. The grant program, now in its second year, is a mechanism to foster festivals and cultural events that serve Buncombe County residents as well as visitors to the area. The primary purposes of this fund are:
• To support and preserve cultural identity within Buncombe County
• To stimulate the creation of new or expansion of existing tourism Events
• To help events grow

With the redesign of the ExploreAsheville.com, ACVB had an opportunity to introduce an advertising element that provided a new, unrestricted revenue source to assist in the development and support of events that enrich the community. BCTDA and Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau will continue to provide marketing assistance to events and festivals, helping promote them to a wider audience and stimulate attendance.

Each year, Buncombe County welcomes 3.8 million overnight guests, providing a customer base that assists in the sustainability of businesses in the community and contributes to tax revenues. Annually, tourism generates a $2.9 billion economic impact to the region.

Grant Recipients and Events for 2018 Funding: 

ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Program)
Farm Tour | $5,000

Asheville Design Center
Carolina Lane Street Festival | $2,000

Asheville Downtown Association
Independence Day Celebration | $5,000

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
{Re}HAPPENING | $3,000

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue
Asheville VeganFest | $5,000

Eliada Home
Eliada Corn Maze | $5,000

Montford Neighborhood Association
Holiday Tour of Homes | $2,000
Montford Music & Arts Festival | $1,000

North Carolina Arboretum
Summer Lights | $5,000

Odyssey Community School (fiscal agent)
Asheville Percussion Festival | $5,000

RiverLink
RiverMusic & RiverFest 2018 | $5,000

Southern Highland Craft Guild
71st Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands | $5,000

WNC Green Building Council
CiderFest NC | $3,500