TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — Tompkins County Legislature approved the last batch of spring tourism grants Tuesday. The awards to more than 40 local organizations give a peek at what festivities are ahead for 2019 — from community festivals like Groton Old Home Days and Dryden Lake Festival, cultural events, big downtown festivals like Wizarding Weekend, and even an exhibit about bees.

Tompkins County Area Development reviews the projects with the Strategic Tourism Planning Board every year. This spring, there were four categories including the tourism capital grants — which were awarded Tuesday night and total $200,000 for 10 projects — as well as tourism project grant awards, community celebration grants and tourism marketing and advertising grants. In total, $420,338 was awarded in the spring grant cycle.

The grants are funded by hotel room occupancy tax, which is collected from anyone who rents out a room or rooms in the short-term. That includes hotels, apartment hotels, motels, guest houses, inns and cottages, bed and breakfasts, and private homes that rent on sites like Airbnb, according to the county.

“The Tompkins County Tourism Program annually invests over $2.5 million in local hotel room occupancy tax dollars in community-based tourism to promote economic development and enhance quality of life,” a news release said.

There will be a fall round of community celebrations grants later in 2019.

The grants give a small insight into the many cultural activities and festivals that liven Ithaca all year. Below you can see what grants were awarded for what initiatives. You can sort and search this table. For example, type in “Trumansburg” or “Ithaca Festival” to see those events, or you can sort by award amount. 

ApplicantProjectEvent DateAward
2019 Science Olympiad National Tournament2019 Science Olympiad National Tournament May 31-June 1$9,500
Cayuga Lake Wine TrailWinery property wayfinding signageMay 1-Aug. 1$3,000
Community Arts PartnershipSpring Writes Literary FestivalMay 2-5$3,000
Community Arts PartnershipGreater Ithaca Art TrailN/A$1,000
Downtown Ithaca Alliance2019 Winter Light FestivalDec. 5-15$11,000
Friends of Stewart Park, Inc.Paddle, Pedal & Play FestivalAug. 31$9,000
Greater Ithaca Activities CenterGIAC's Festival of Nations & Gus Macker TournamentSept. 7-8$16,000
Historic IthacaDowntown architecture tours and moreN/A$7,000
Ithaca Children's GardenEngaging exhibits and essential signage to connect visitors to the living worldN/A$3,000
Ithaca College Office of Sponsored ResearchQinfolk Festival | QTPOC Film, Arts & Mental HealthOct. 5$2,000
Ithaca FestivalSilent discoMay 31-June 2$5,000
Ithaca Shakespeare Company, Inc.2019 Summer Shakespeare FestivalJuly 11-28$7,500
Ithaca UndergroundBig Day In #15 and Naked Noise #11Dec. 1 & April 15 2020$2,500
Kitchen Theatre CompanyKitchen Theatre Company Production of TRIBESJune 2-23$13,000
Opera IthacaOpera Ithaca Collaboration: La Boheme with Cayuga Chamber OrchestraSept. 28-29$8,500
Paleontological Research InstitutionBees ExhibitN/A$7,500
SciencenterSciencenter wayfinding evaluation and upgradesN/A$10,000
Tea Leaves, Inc. Ithaca Reggae FestJune 29$8,500
The Cherry Arts, Inc.2019-20 Cherry Arts Production Enhancement FundingN/A$4,000
Triphammer Arts Inc.Opera Cowpokes Alive! Outdoor music and dance performancesAug. 1-4$3,000
Wizarding WeekendWizarding Weekend 2019Oct. 26$3,500
Community Arts PartnershipSpring Writes Literary Festival (marketing and advertising)May 2-5$2,000
Community Arts Partnership Greater Ithaca Art Trail (marketing and advertising)N/A$2,500
Community Arts PartnershipFinger Lakes Pottery Tour (marketing and advertising)May 11-12$3,500
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins CountyOpen Farm Days 2019 (marketing and advertising)Aug. 10-11$4,000
Discover Cayuga Lake (CTA)New collaborations on Cayuga (marketing and advertising)N/A$3,500
Downtown Ithaca Alliance2019 Winter Light Festival (marketing and advertising)Dec. 5-15$3,000
Hangar TheatreMore the Merrier Campaign (marketing and advertising)Dec. 8-22$5,000
Historic IthacaDowntown architecture tours and more (marketing and advertising)N/A$3,500
Ithaca College Office of Sponsored ResearchQinfolk Festival | QTPOC Film, Arts & Mental Health (marketing and advertising)Oct. 5$4,000
Ithaca FestivalSilent disco (marketing and advertising)May 31-June 2$3,000
Ithaca Shakespeare Company Inc.2019 Summer Shakespeare Festival (marketing and advertising)July 11-28$1,000
Ithaca UndergroundBig Day In #15 and Naked Noise #11 (marketing and advertising)Dec. 1 & April 15 2020$2,000
Kitchen Theatre CompanyKitchen Theatre Company Production of TRIBES (marketing and advertising)June 2-23$4,000
Opera IthacaOpera Ithaca Collaboration: La Boheme with Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (marketing and advertising)Sept. 28-29$2,500
Paleontological Research Institution Bees exhibit (marketing and advertising)N/A$3,000
Tea Leaves, Inc. Ithaca Reggae Fest (marketing and advertising)June 29$4,000
The Cherry Arts, Inc.2019-20 Cherry Arts Production Enhancement Funding (marketing and advertising)N/A$1,000
Village of Trumansburg2019 Trumansburg Farmers Market (marketing and advertising)N/A$1,500
Wizarding WeekendWizarding Weekend 2019Oct. 26$1,000
Center for Community TransportationStreets Alive! IthacaApril 28 & Oct. 1$1,400
Child Development CouncilPlaydate in the ParkJune 26$500
Danby Volunteer Fire CompanyDanby Community DaySept. 21$1,525
Dorothy Cotton Jubilee SingersCelebrating Dorothy Cotton's legacy in Ithaca and beyondMay 10$2,250
Southworth Library AssociationDryden Holiday CelebrationDec. 17$1,500
Dryden Lake FestivalDryden Lake Festival 2019July 27$1,500
Dryden Town Historical SocietyHomestead Heritage Fair 2019Oct. 5$1,500
Finger Lakes FinnsFostering Finnish FolkwaysMay 21-Sept. 29$925
Greater Ithaca Activities CenterGIAC Festival of NationsSept. 7$2,250
Groton Girl Scout Troop 41432 c/o Village of GrotonGroton Community NightAug. 6$750
Groton Olde Home DaysGroton Olde Home DaysAug. 23-25$2,200
Ithaca Children's GardenInternational Mud DayJune 29$1,500
Lansing Events Committee2019 Lansing Community CelebrationJune 6-7$2,000
Latino Civic Association of Tompkins CountyLatinx Heritage MonthSept. 15-Oct. 15$1,000
Multicultural Resource CenterFirst Peoples FestivalSept. 28$1,250
New Roots Charter SchoolRootstockMay 18$500
Newfield Memorial Day CommitteeMemorial Day Parade and Services 2019May 27$523
Town of Newfield2019 Newfield Music Series at Mill ParkJune 12-Sept. 11$850
Triphammer Arts Inc. Watermusic/Dancing on the TrailJuly 12$1,950
Historic Ithaca2019 Tompkins County Walk and TalksJune 22-Aug. 24$1,265
The History Center (on behalf of all TCHC partners)TCHC community celebrationMay 10$1,000
Town of Groton11th Annual Verne Morton Memorial Photography Show & ContestAug. 23-24$700
Center for the Arts at Ithaca, Inc., d.b.a. Hangar TheatreHangar Theatre New Flight Plan Feasibility StudyN/A$12,500
City of IthacaSix Mile Creek Trail Feasibility StudyN/A$20,000
Friends of Stewart Park, Inc.Renwick Plaza & Cayuga Lake Overlook Design StudyN/A$5,000
Friends of Stewart Park, Inc.Stewart Park Inclusive Playground Bathroom Building and Splash PadN/A$50,000
SciencenterSciencenter Amphitheater RenovationsN/A$10,000
Tompkins Cortland Community CollegeTC3 Disc Golf Course renovation/expansionN/A$17,500
Town of Dryden - Dryden Rail Trail Task ForceDryden Rail Trail bridge infrastructureN/A$50,000
Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine ArtsTrumansburg Conservatory building compliance and upgradesN/A$12,500
Village of FreevilleStation Park: A history-themed pocket park in FreevilleN/A$15,000
Ithaca Farmers MarketVisioning the future of the IFM pavilion as part of Waterfront DevelopmentN/A$7,500

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.